Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

National Health Insurance is everything but a magic wand that will fix the country’s terrible health care system

(Declaration in parliament: Department of Health budget review)


South Africa's health care services are in a terrible state and the ANC government is making a big mistake if it thinks that National Health Insurance (NHI) is a magic wand that will solve all the problems.

The stories of what is going on in our hospitals sound like a never-ending nightmare: According to the MEC for Health in Gauteng, approximately 3800 people died in Gauteng provincial hospitals due to medical negligence during the 2018/19 financial year.

A few of the incidents that recently came to light include a two-year-old girl who died after she had to wait nine hours to be admitted to the Tshwane District Hospital; elderly people are being chained to chairs in the Mamelodi Hospital; a patient with a blood clot through the heart had to wait 17 hours to be admitted to the Tshwane District Hospital and many more.

Against this backdrop, it is all the more disturbing to learn that the Department of Health underspent its budget with R1 billion. That explains the critical situation.

According to the Auditor-General (AG), hospitals in Mpumalanga, Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal and the Free State have still not started using medical equipment that was purchased in 2015 for an amount of R13,2 million. All of this paint a picture of sheer incompetence.

What is currently transpiring at state hospitals in South Africa is a total disgrace and if the government is under the impression that the NHI will resolve all these problems, it will have to rethink long and hard.

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