DA will pursue legal action if ANC passes unlawful NHI bill

Issued by Michele Clarke MP – DA Shadow Minister of Health
15 Nov 2022 in News

Please find attached soundbite by Michele Clarke MP.

The DA today confirms that should the ANC use its majority to bulldoze the disastrous National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill through the Health Committee and both Houses of Parliament, the DA has instructed its attorneys to deliver a letter of demand to President Ramaphosa to send the unconstitutional, reckless and impractical NHI Bill back to Parliament for reconsideration.

Should the President refuse this request, the DA, along with other civil society organisations, will reserve their right to challenge the legality of the Bill in court.

This decision was taken after the clause-by-clause deliberations had come to an end in the Health Committee where the ANC did not accept any material changes to the Bill despite overwhelming opposition from the majority of opposition parties.

As the DA has highlighted previously, the NHI Bill is completely out of touch with reality as South Africa is in no state to be able to afford the incredible financial burden of implementing the NHI. In fact, to date, opposition parties are yet to see an up-to-date costing model or feasibility study which takes into account the damaging effects Covid-19 had on our economy or the possible effects of the looming recession.

The DA has always championed universal healthcare, however, the NHI Bill, in its current form, will fall dismally short of achieving this objective. Instead, what we will see is the public healthcare infrastructure being even more underfunded and patients dying en masse from the lack of services available to them.

We will also possibly see the largest scale of corruption ever as the NHI Bill will establish a fund which will pool the Health Department’s funding for the entire country under one entity without any guarantees that proper oversight and internal controls will be implemented.

A fund of this size, without sufficient controls against looting and corruption will see a State Capture that is even greater than the one under Jacob Zuma’s reign.

The only thing the NHI will achieve is to collapse and break the health sector even more than it is now, and in the end, it will be the poorest of the poor who will suffer the most.

The DA will be providing the chairperson of the Health Committee with its written submissions on why the NHI will not work and request that the State Law Advisors provide a written legal opinion on the various constitutional and legal issues so that if it comes to that stage, civil society can fight this disastrous Bill in court.