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President Cyril Ramaphosa. Image: X/PresidencyZA

Home » Mixed reactions on signing of National Health Insurance Bill

Mixed reactions on signing of National Health Insurance Bill

Political parties believe President Cyril Ramaphosa’s signing the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill into law is the worst decision.

14-05-24 21:23
corruption gender-based violence
President Cyril Ramaphosa. Image: X/PresidencyZA

There have been mixed reactions regarding the signing of the controversial National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill into law.

The Presidency confirmed that President Cyril Ramaphosa will sign the NHI Bill into law on Wednesday, 15 May at the Union Buildings in Tshwane.

RAMAPHOSA TO SIGN NHI BILL INTO LAW

On Monday, the Presidency said Ramaphosa will publicly sign into law the NHI Bill which directs the transformation of South Africa’s health care system.

It has been widely reported that the NHI aims to achieve universal coverage for health services and, through this, overcome critical socio-economic imbalances and inequities of the past.

Despite criticism from opposition parties and experts the National Council of Provinces passed the controversial Bill in December 2023.

Following the announcement, the Democratic Alliance said by signing NHI into law, Ramaphosa will be signing the death warrant for healthcare.

The party called on its supporters to unite to reject higher taxes and the NHI disaster that will lead to grand corruption by ANC cadres.

Build One South Africa (BOSA) leader Mmusi Maimane also took to X (formerly Twitter) to weigh in on the latest development.

“People are going to die. This is capture of medical aid funds and will lead to worse healthcare for us all,” he wrote.

ACTIONSA DISAPPOINTED

Meanwhile, ActionSA has also echoed the same sentiments.

The party said while the NHI is well-intentioned to address healthcare inequality in South Africa, however, in its current form, it is opening the health system to corruption as we have seen during the Covid-19 pandemic when billions were lost through PPE and related corruption.

The party’s Dr. Kgosi Letlape said the proposal is ill-conceived and will not address the shortcomings of the healthcare system in South Africa but present itself as a third tier in addition to the public and private healthcare.

“This will open up a loophole to budgetary irregularities that will enable corruption and collapse the healthcare system even further. The state has consistently proven unable to manage money or complex systems. The creation of another healthcare behemoth will therefore do little to address healthcare but instead open up the industry to state capture and abuse. 

“It must be noted that the greatest problem in the South African healthcare system is not funding but the money lost through corruption and mismanagement,” Letlape explained.

NHI
There is concern that the NHI will be a disaster as government has seemingly failed to manage the public health system. Image: File.

WHO WILL FUND THE HEALTH SCHEME?

According to the DA the projected financial impacts of the NHI are alarming and estimates have reached as high as R859 billion per annum.

Some have said that the National Treasury will hike taxes, by an undetermined amount, to finance the health scheme.

According to Parliament, the NHI Fund will be funded from:

  • General taxes
  • Contributions of persons earning above a set amount, and
  • Monthly contributions made by the employees to the fund.