There has been much Criticism of National Health Insurance in South Africa, a proposed new government policy that has been heavily condemned by many people.
The National Health Insurance (NHI) is a proposed financing system whose stated purpose is to give SA citizens essential healthcare, regardless of their employment status and ability to make a direct monetary contribution to the NHI Fund.
Criticism of National Health Insurance has increased dramatically in the past week. The NHI has attracted a huge amount of disdain and condemnation from many different sectors of society. Generally, people accuse it of being an attempt to solve government corruption and inefficiency by raiding the private sector. Below is a selection of recent criticisms of the proposed NHI bill.
Criticism of National Health Insurance
The NHI’s “practical effects will mean that medical innovation will be stifled, health care costs will increase and those who are poorer will have no alternative but to go to poor-performing, ill-equipped facilities for care” – Christo Hattingh, BizNews
“By forcing South Africans out of their private healthcare arrangements and into NHI, government is violating both our right to access to healthcare and our freedom of association. ” – Martin van Staden, Free Market Foundation
“Capped doctors’ fees to be imposed by the national health insurance (NHI) legislation could see a mass exodus of doctors from the system. About 3 000 doctors will refuse to take part in the NHI and will seek legal action should they be forced to work at fixed rates.” – Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni, The Citizen
“Long waiting times for medical treatment will become even longer, putting lives at risk. The poor will bear the main brunt of this, but the middle class will also have to wait weeks and months for medical appointments. Many in the middle class might find this unacceptable and choose to emigrate instead. But, if even 250 000 of the 560 000 skilled individuals who pay 62% of personal income tax were to go, this would further hobble the economy and restrict state spending.” – Dr Anthea Jeffery, All4Women
“A staggering 79% of private sector and 59% of public-sector anaesthetists in South Africa believe the introduction of the proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme will be detrimental to their specialised profession.” Khaya Koko, IOL
“Consider the South African government’s track record in the implementation of big projects. The Digital Migration Policy. Initial deadline: 2015. Implementation date? Yet to be confirmed. Remember the lengthy delays in readying Sassa to pay out to grants’ beneficiaries? And don’t forget the National Development Plan, launched in 2011, now gathering dust in a government office. Let’s be honest: our government is not capable of implementing NHI.” – Editorial, The Times
“Caps on what doctors can charge for their services are likely to see many leaving the country, making an already-overburdened healthcare sector even weaker, if the National Health Insurance (NHI) is implemented in its current format.” – Huffington Post
“Universal free healthcare‚ is‚ of course‚ a magnificent ideal and something to which every country should aspire. This particular country‚ however‚ is also the one in which a highly urbanised province killed 143 patients and the health minister didn’t resign in disgrace and nobody went to jail.” – Tom Eaton, TimesLive