Solidarity say they will hold office bearers accountable if NHI is implemented

File Picture: Solidarity chief executive Dr Dirk Hermann at a press conference. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency(ANA)

File Picture: Solidarity chief executive Dr Dirk Hermann at a press conference. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Oct 5, 2023


Trade Union organisation Solidarity says it plans to fight against the planned National Health Insurance implementation.

The organisation said that they have told parties involved that should they decide to proceed with the NHI, they will request a cost order against them in person in the court process against the NHI.

Solidarity Chief Executive Dr Dirk Hermann says that cost order will be sought in person against President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana, and the Minister of Health, Joe Phaahla, to hold them individually liable if the NHI goes ahead.

Hermann says that office bearers have the power to decide against the NHI, given the strong evidence to the effect that it would be harmful to the country and its citizens.

In addition, accountability will be demanded from the National Treasury, the Department of Health and the National Council of Provinces, which are all responsible for the establishment of the NHI.

“In this way, we want to ensure that the individuals realise that they cannot plead innocence when destructive systems, such as this one, are designed. The NHI and its consequences should then also be laid at the door of such influential persons.

“The evidence of what will happen to healthcare in this country, should it land up in the hands of the centralist government, can be seen in the state in which other institutions that are in government hands, such as Eskom, Transnet and the SAA, are in,” said Hermann

Solidarity said that they have, in the past, emphasised that the country is in desperate need of cheaper health care. Reports of the Solidarity Research Institute (SRI) make it clear that the NHI is certainly not the best solution.

Head of SRI, Connie Mulder, says that it has been proven that the NHI is not only unaffordable and unworkable but that it is also unnecessary, because South Africans already have access to free health care.

“If that health care system cannot be properly maintained and improved, there is simply no chance that a significantly larger system will be managed with more success, is there? In the SRI’s cost report, we found that Treasury will need an additional R296 billion to make the NHI a reality,” said Mulder

Mulder said that the Treasury has a specific responsibility to prevent this because there is no money for it. That is why they will hold the Treasury accountable.

Together with the warning to the relevant government officials and departments, Solidarity will also attach the reports as proof.

“This includes a report indicating how medical practitioners who deliver private health care services are strongly opposed to the NHI and that up to 99% of them are concerned about the government’s ability to manage the NHI.

Solidarity will continue with legal action as soon as the decision is made to continue with the NHI. It is important that not only the government in its entirety, but also individual officials take note hereof,” added a statement from the trade union organisation.