The cure is more fatal than the illness

Staff Writer | Mar 13, 2019
Aaron Motsoaledi, the Minister of Health, is prone to fits of righteous anger, but his press release damning the Sunday Times ‘and its associated publications’ on its alleged opposition to the National Health Insurance (NHI) is extraordinary.

“After all, they are no longer doing this in the form of normal reporting but in their editorial comment, affirming their position on the NHI. In their opposition to the NHI, they are throwing mud from every direction, at every available opportunity, even linking things that are otherwise not connected. Perceived opposition to the NHI by the private sector, undocumented migrants, the presidential war room and many others are put together to prepare a case against the NHI.”

Motsoaledi describes the NHI as a “flagship programme of the state”. He then denies it is his pet project by saying that it was adopted at Polokwane, Mangaung and Nasrec. 

Motsoaledi is the Minister of Health so he must take responsibility for it. Perhaps his ‘defence’ of NHI suggests he would rather not have the responsibility. 

The Sunday Times’ views reflect much the same as the other opponents of the NHI. 

According to Dr. Anthea Jeffery, IRR’s Head of Policy Research, 85% of public clinics and hospitals can’t comply with basic norms and standards including hygiene and the availability of medicines. The NHI will resolve none of this.

Medical negligence costs being at R56bn, which is 27% of the entire R201bn health budget for 2018/19.

Jeffery says that public health service the reform won’t be solved by the NHI; it will just drive the private sector out of healthcare provision.

Motsoaledi defends a range of issues, but nowhere deals with what the NHI actually will do for the sick.  

 

For a detailed analysis go to https://irr.org.za/reports/occasional-reports/files/01-whats-wrong-with-the-nhi-07-08-2018-003.pdf


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