Preparations for the 2019 state-of-the-nation address well underway in the parliamentary precinct. Picture: Supplied by GCIS.

Cape Town – Section 27 has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to address transparency and ailing health system in this year's State of the Nation Address (SONA). 

"President Cyril Ramaphosa has identified health as a focus area for his administration. This focus is to be welcomed. Focusing on health does not mean passing an NHI Bill, however. It means budgets and plans, and the implementation of plans, to fix our health system before irreversible damage is done. It means tackling the corruption currently in the system. It means prioritising the health care system and recognising it as a system through which we realise rights, improve teaching and learning outcomes and revive the economy," they said in a statement. 

Ramaphosa is set to deliver the 2019 SONA on Thursday. With elections only three months away, the president and his administration now face turning promises that were made to real opportunities for South Africans.

"South Africa has been 'on the brink' of major health system change for almost a decade. National Health Insurance has been discussed for years and made less tangible with each iteration of the policy. A leaked revision of the NHI Bill late last year included sweeping changes to the version published for public comment, albeit not, apparently, in response to those comments. We remain in the dark about the status of the Bill currently." 

Section 27 slammed the lack of transparency and called for 'real action' to fix the health system. 

"We cannot afford to stop at a few interventions and the passing of a Bill. This SONA we call for real action to fix the health system."