SAMA, PSA join voices calling for caution when implementing NHI

SAMA, PSA join voices calling for caution when implementing NHI

The South African Medical Association believes the government must prove it can be trusted with public finances before implementing the National Health Insurance scheme.  

Doctors note

Earlier this month, the National Assembly passed the controversial NHI Bill, pushing it closer to being signed into law. 

The bill was introduced to Parliament in 2019 and seeks universal health coverage for all South Africans. 

The long-awaited introduction of the NHI is being opposed by several organisations amid warnings that it could lead to a complete collapse of the country’s health system.  

The government has vehemently denied the claims, with Health Minister Joe Phaahla saying he believes it will lay the foundation for better access to healthcare for everyone in the country. 

“One of our greatest concerns about the NHI implementation is the trust deficit between this government and its citizens. This is due to the corruption in healthcare that has become the order of the day,” said SAMA chairperson Mvuyisi Mzukwa.    

“Therefore, the government must assure citizens that there will be a watchdog to guard against this cancer of corruption.”

Meanwhile, the Public Servants Association has also warned that the country is not ready to implement the NHI.  

“The PSA supports any effort to ensure universal access to healthcare and recognises that access to healthcare is a fundamental human right enshrined in the South African constitution. It is, however, important to emphasise that this should be meaningful access to quality service, adequate medical supplies, clean and fully equipped facilities, and adequate staffing with experience and expertise. Without these fundamental aspects in place, the NHI is doomed to be a failure,” said PSA spokesperson Reuben Maleka.

The association has also urged the government to make decisions while considering the state's limited resources.  


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