Still no proper funding model for NHI

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

Please find attached soundbite by Michele Clarke MP.

Despite multiple requests from the DA for clarification, the Department of Health has yet to provide a funding model for the proposed National Health Insurance (NHI).

During the clause-by-clause deliberations of the NHI Bill in yesterday’s parliamentary portfolio committee meeting on health, the ANC insisted that the NHI would be tax funded. As on previous occasions, the ANC members in the committee simply talked around the DA’s concerns about an outdated feasibility study that has not considered the economic reality of a post-Covid-19 South African economy, the dwindling tax-base or the rising unemployment numbers.

The DA has written to Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana to request a presentation to committee on the financial feasibility, cost and implications of the NHI Bill. We have also repeatedly asked that National Treasury be invited to committee to make such presentations, but our reasonable requests continue to be ignored. As are our concerns regarding certain clauses and subsections within the Bill.

When the DA raised a point on the prevalence of corruption within the public health sector and the NHI Bill’s failure to address this, as well as the lack of protection for whistleblowers within the Bill, the ANC members chose to ignore these concerns. Instead, they chose to rubbish News24’s series of investigative articles surrounding the tragic death of Babita Deokaran and the dodgy dealings of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s nephew by marriage, Hangwani Morgan Maumela, with Tembisa Hospital, as “gossip” and lamented that the DA chose this to illustrate corruption and the danger to whistleblowers. The ANC members conveniently forgot that Maumela’s dealing first came to light as a result of questions submitted by DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC Jack Bloom to Gauteng Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko.

That the ANC chose their hubris over serious engagement regarding problematic clauses within the NHI Bill is nothing new. ANC members seem determined to bulldoze the NHI Bill through Parliament with no regard to the knock-on effects this will have on an already struggling public health sector, South African taxpayers, the economy and those who will ultimately suffer under subpar health care – the South African public.