Durban — The Cabinet said it welcomed the adoption of measures to recalibrate the health system and accelerate National Health Insurance (NHI) reforms. This is despite opposition parties’ rejection of it. It came after the government hosted the second Presidential Health Summit, focusing on nine pillars of the 2019 Presidential Health Compact.
Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshaveni said this moved the health systems closer to better serving South Africans. One of the summit’s outcomes was the renewed commitment to implement the NHI. Delivering the keynote address, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the NHI would enable the country to ensure every citizen received quality health services, correct diagnosis and free treatment at the point of care.
“Such a health-care system should be adequately staffed with well-trained, motivated health-care professionals supported by effective management and leadership,” Ramaphosa said.
DA spokesperson on health, Michele Clarke, said the party strongly condemned the ANC’s bulldozing of the NHI Bill through the health portfolio committee without amendments from opposition parties, despite overwhelming legal opinions and arguments to do so.
“We reiterate that the NHI Bill will bankrupt South Africa and not solve its medical crisis. The lack of feasibility studies and impact assessments in a post-Covid-19 world, where the economy looks vastly different from what it did, is concerning.”
Clarke called on the ANC to prove that the party was not using this bill merely as a 2024 election campaign tool.
“Without a financial certificate of approval or budget approval from the finance minister, the bill cannot even pretend to be constitutional.”
The EFF’s Naledi Chirwa said the NHI bill sought to outsource health care to the private sector following the ANC government failure to build a public sector. She said the EFF did not support the bill.”
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