Thursday, 30 May, 2024
HomeNHINHI - 2Phaahla defends R26bn spent on prepping for NHI

Phaahla defends R26bn spent on prepping for NHI

Health Minister Joe Phaahla came under fire in Parliament when he said government had spent R26bn over the past decade to prepare for the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme.

According to a Beeld report, Phaahla explained during a question and answer session that the figure includes direct and indirect apportionments as well as pilot projects. “A total of R10bn (of the R26bn) was made available during the Covid-19 pandemic to appoint more personnel,” he said.

DA MP Michéle Clarke replied by saying the NHI was nothing more than an “election gimmick” and that the ANC itself knew that it was unaffordable.

“Your own Finance Minister did not even mention financing (for the NHI) in his budget,” she said, adding that the country was bankrupt.

“If the ANC could steal air, it would, and it will eventually steal the medicines from sick people if the NHI is ever implemented.”

Phaahla insisted that the NHI was necessary and workable as there was duplication of work as well as wastage between the public and private health sector. The NHI would lead to massive savings when the temporary setbacks were resolved, he said.

Joining in on the pushback against the NHI, meanwhile, last Wednesday, civil rights organisation AfriForum submitted written comments to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) rejecting the Bill. The original deadline for public submissions was extended to 15 September.

The group has “added its voice alongside a growing number of healthcare industry role-players, as well as medical scheme members who are seeing the devastating potential effects the Bill could cause”, it wrote in PoliticsWeb.

Louis Boshoff, campaign officer, said the organisation was troubled by the lack of transparency and critical details.

“Despite years of discussions and policy papers, people are still in the dark about key aspects like cost, funding sources, and implementation strategy. This raises serious questions about the true motives behind the Fund.”

AfriForum was concerned NHI “will turn into a massively expensive failure that neither improves healthcare quality nor accessibility”.

It would also violate the constitutional rights of millions of South Africans by forcing them to rely on a healthcare plan that was doomed from the start and outlawing the use of private alternatives, said Boshoff.


Beeld article – R26m afgelope 10 j. aan voorbereidings vir NGV bestee, sê Phaahla (Restricted access)


PoliticsWeb article – AfriForum submits comprehensive written comments opposing the catastrophic proposed NHI Bill (Open access)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


Public comments deadline extended for NHI Bill


Other options than NHI for quality UHC


Dose of reality splatters NHI fantasy





MedicalBrief — our free weekly e-newsletter

We'd appreciate as much information as possible, however only an email address is required.