Taxpayers will buckle under R80bn NHI pressure

2013-02-03 10:00

Taxpayers would have to fork out R80?billion more in order to fund government’s National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme by 2025.

This new figure revealed by the National Treasury last week shows taxes would have to be substantially hiked, says health economist Professor Alex van den Heever, a figure which “taxpayers would never cope with”.

When the NHI policy document was published for public comment in 2011, government estimated that it would cost R125?billion to implement in 2012, increasing to R214?billion in 2020 and to R255?billion in 2025.

At the time, the health budget was estimated at R110?billion for the 2012/13 financial year, which meant an additional R145?billion would have to be found over the 14-year period.

The NHI is being punted as a system to ensure everyone living in South Africa has access to quality healthcare, regardless of their income. The financing options could be made public when the discussion document is published before Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s budget speech next month.

The document being studied by Gordhan and Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi is expected to be released at the same time as the NHI white paper.

Dr Mark Blecher, chief director of health and social development public finance at the National Treasury, said by the 2025/26 financial year, “the NHI will need public funding in addition to the national health budget and that could reach R80.4?billion”.

“Various funding options, including an increase in the VAT rate, a payroll tax on employers and a surcharge on the taxable income of individuals, are being looked at to cover that R80.4?billion,” he said.

However, Van den Heever said the plan was “preposterous, as it was too early in the implementation of the NHI to introduce such massive taxes”.

“The government can’t expect to fix public health problems by throwing money at it because public healthcare facilities are not failing as a result of lack of finances but due to rampant corruption,” he said.

Blecher agreed. “Additional funds for the NHI must be accompanied by measurable and sustained improvements in health services, including quality of care.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

LIVE: Canada v Romania
Heyneke: Still some loose ends
LIVE: Fiji v Uruguay
Does De Kock's fate await Paige?
Traffic Alerts

Are you burning the candle at both ends? Listen to your body and your emotional reactions. Know when to slow down or stop. It is more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.