Johannesburg - Paying for more than three types of different tax for medical services is the harsh reality facing South African taxpayers, AfriBusiness warned on Friday.

The warning comes after the Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi published the government's long promised White Paper on National Health Insurance (NHI) last month.

Designed to provide healthcare services to all at an estimated R256 billion per year, the government plans to the finance the NHI from four revenue sources including direct, indirect and payroll taxation as well as the collection of premiums and membership collections.

Armand Greyling, Law and Policy Analyst at AfriBusiness, said that the NHI was a””wonderful idea” but it would be at the expense of already overburdened taxpayers.

“The problem that we face is not with the NHI, but the deep dark hole into which billions will disappear every year,” said Greyling.

“We have seen it with PetroSA and more recently SAA.”

AfriBusiness said it will keep a watchful eye on the development of the NHI and the financing model thereof. It said it will oppose and deliver commentary on any proposed legislation promulgated by government in this regard to protect the interests of all South Africans.

The Free Market Foundation meanwhile on Thursday said the proposals would mean unmitigated disaster for healthcare and the economy in general.

It has raised a number of questions surrounding the centrally allocated NHI fund, should it run out. There are also doubts about government officials and their decisions regarding which services should be provided and the recipients thereof.