Ramaphosa hits back at critics as he signs NHI Bill into law

Ramaphosa hits back at critics as he signs NHI Bill into law

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the National Health Insurance aims to tackle poverty by making healthcare more affordable. 

Ramaphosa hits back at critics as he signs NHI Bill into law

Ramaphosa officially signed the National Health Insurance Bill into law at the Union Buildings on Wednesday. 


The signing came amid a fierce debate over the viability of the government’s plans to introduce universal healthcare. 


The South African Medical Association, members of the healthcare industry, some business organisations, civil rights groups, and political parties have raised concerns about the bill’s signing in its current form.


There is a belief among many that the government will not be able to run the NHI on its own, and this could see the collapse of the country’s healthcare system.


However, Ramaphosa hit back at the naysayers who claimed that the NHI would collapse private healthcare.


“The provision of health care in this country is currently fragmented, unsustainable and unacceptable,” the president said ahead of the signing of the bill. 


“The public sector serves a large majority of the population but faces budget constraints. The private sector serves a fraction of society at a far higher cost without a proportional improvement in health outcomes.


“Addressing this imbalance requires a radical reimagining of resource allocation and a steadfast commitment to universal healthcare, a commitment we made to the United Nations.


“The real challenge in implementing the NHI lies not in the lack of funds but in the misallocation of resources that currently favours the private health sector at the expense of public health needs,” says Ramaphosa.


The president believes the NHI provides an innovative approach to funding universal healthcare. 


“It proposes a comprehensive strategy that combines various financial resources, including both additional funding and reallocating funds already in the health system.


“This approach ensures contributions from a broader spectrum of society, emphasising the shared responsibility and mutual benefits envisioned by the NHI.


“The financial hurdles facing the NHI can be navigated with careful planning, strategic resource allocation and a steadfast commitment to achieving equity.” 


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