DA: NHI won’t fix health

2010-09-24 00:00

THE Democratic Alliance says the national health insurance scheme (NHI) will not improve the poor state of affairs of the public healthcare sector.

DA shadow minister Mike Waters said: “Employ well-trained, experienced and committed CEOs in public healthcare facilities. Appointment of managers based on patronage rather than fitness cripples the system,” he said in a statement.

He said raising value-added tax to fund the NHI, which is one of the funding options proposed, would harm the poorest citizens because of the regressive nature of VAT.

Waters’s comments follows the proposal by the ANC’s health sub-committee chairperson, Zweli Mkhize, at the national general council that NHI be phased in over 14 years, with the roll-out to start in 2012.

The proposed funding methods are a surcharge on taxable income, payroll tax revenue and an increase in VAT.

The chief of the South African Private Practitioners’ Forum, Chris Archer, said that with the NHI initiative, medical scheme members will find it difficult to maintain their membership while paying an additional tax.


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