In a Standing Committee briefing on Wednesday, 11 September 2019, the Western Cape Provincial Department of Health compared and contrasted the current system of universal public healthcare, with the proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill currently before the National Assembly.
The Department came to the unanimous conclusion that NHI is unnecessary in the Western Cape where the existing model for public healthcare roll out is efficient, effective, and sustainable under a DA-run government without hiking taxes. What is required, is a strong efficient and well-resourced universal public health system which leaves no one behind.
The NHI Bill in its current form is merely a legislative remedy for gross failures in public healthcare provision under the ANC elsewhere in South Africa. The Bill is unworkable as it will collapse private healthcare and centralise public healthcare provision at national level where it is too large to manage and will only incentivise further corruption.
This is what the NHI Bill will mean for ordinary citizens and taxpaying residents:
- Medical aids will be over-regulated and severely limited, potentially collapsing private healthcare and driving the best doctors out of the country;
- Taxes will be increased from which National Government will control the management of healthcare infrastructure and pay service providers, opening the door to further theft and corruption;
- The option to choose private healthcare will be curtailed, and government will decide where and when healthcare procedures will take place;
- Provinces will have their powers limited with regards to public healthcare provision.
Wendy Philander, MPP says: “Quite simply, the NHI Bill will rob South Africans of the choice to have private healthcare should they be able to afford it, and force citizens to pay higher taxes and give complete control of their health and well-being to the government. For South Africans already reliant on public healthcare, NHI will overburden the system translating into longer queues at hospitals and clinics, longer waiting times, far fewer doctors, and higher cases of medication and personnel shortages.”
MPP Philander adds: “NHI will turn healthcare into yet another state-owned enterprise from which money could be stolen and under which services will collapse. It is no secret that the ANC cannot be trusted with such a mammoth task”.
The Democratic Alliance in the Western Cape unequivocally rejects the NHI Bill in its entirety and calls on the public to do the same. The provision of public healthcare in the Western Cape under a DA-led government is the best in the country and has proven that universal public healthcare is indeed possible. We do not need NHI to ensure this. We need resources to expand quality services and to make them accessible to everyone.
MPP Philander concludes: “We call on all residents of the Western Cape to reject this disastrous piece of draft legislation as it will cause the complete collapse of healthcare provision in the country. Residents can lodge their objections at www.stopthenhi.co.za and familiarise themselves with its implication for quality healthcare provision”.
The Democratic Alliance in the Western Cape will fight this Bill tooth and nail to ensure that this does not become another failed, or even deadly, state-owned enterprise. We remain committed to ensuring quality healthcare provision for all South Africans.