JOHANNESBURG - The National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme, South Africa's universal healthcare plan, would have a negative impact on the economy in the long run, the Freedom Front Plus said on Tuesday
FF Plus MP Phillip van Staden said the share price of the country's largest medical aid scheme in the country, Discovery Group, fell after Health Minister Zweli Mkhize's pronouncements on the NHI Bill last week.
"The FF Plus' foreboding that the NHI will have an extremely negative impact on South Africa's economy already seems to be coming true. One clear indication of this is that when the NHI Bill was tabled in Parliament last week Thursday, the Discovery Group's shares fell with 8.5% to R115.47 right after the minister's announcement. Yesterday [Monday], the group's shares fell with another 8.4% and closed at R105,72, the lowest since 2014," Van Staden said in a statement.
"Thus, the NHI Bill is already having a detrimental effect on South Africa's economy and the FF Plus is worried that the economy will suffer great damage due to this new notion of nationalising the country's health care services."
The long-awaited NHI Bill, which aims to contain the cost of comprehensive public health care by prioritising primary and preventative medical services, was tabled in Parliament last week.