IFP rejects NHI

IFP President Velenkosini Hlabisa at the party offices in Durban. Picture: Khaya Ngwenya / Independent Newspapers

IFP President Velenkosini Hlabisa at the party offices in Durban. Picture: Khaya Ngwenya / Independent Newspapers

Published Dec 3, 2023


Durban — The Inkatha Freedom Party has rejected the National Health Insurance (NHI) plan.

The NHI is a fund from which the South African government will buy healthcare services for South Africans from healthcare providers both in the public and private sector.

Outlining the party’s plan in an exclusive interview dubbed “ready to govern” with Daily News editor Ayanda Mdluli, IFP leader Velenkosini Hlabisa said the plan will destroy health care services in the country, saying the IFP was against it.

Hlabisa said the plan will be a disaster and will drive health professionals out of the country.

Hlabisa likened the plan with the failed Outcome-Based Education plan which the government implemented some years ago against the advice of experts. The OBE was an education policy which changed the curriculum.

Hlabisa said after years of complaints that the policy was not good for SA, the government finally dropped it but the damage was already done, adding that many pupils could not read and write at matric level because of the policy.

The IFP leader said in terms of the NHI, private health facilities will treat all the people free of charge and invoice the state, saying since the government was delaying to pay service providers, many will have to shut down because they would not be having medical supplies.

“This plan will fail like OBE. It's a pity this government does not want to take advice. It will be a disaster,” said Hlabisa.

Hlabisa said under an IFP government public hospitals will be adequately resourced and there was no need for NHI. Although the NHI act will not abolish private health care facilities, they will no longer charge patients what they want since the state will set treatment fees.

IFP is a major partner in the Multi- Party Charter which is a group of political parties that are aiming to dislodge ANC from power as a collective in the next year’s general elections. Hlabisa and other senior party leaders are expected to occupy senior cabinet positions if their plan to remove the ANC succeeded.

The IFP leader appears to be gradually asserting his authority in the party after the death of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi who founded the party.

Although rumours of a rift between him and the KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Thami Ntuli still persist, both leaders have dismissed the rumours saying they work together very well. There was talk that they both eye the premiership position.

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