Concerns raised over the implementation and funding of NHI

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Some people are concerned that the government has not communicated effectively on how the National Health Insurance Bill (NHI) will be implemented and funded.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is this afternoon set to sign the NHI Bill into law.

One resident of Edenvale, east of Johannesburg, says she fears that the scheme is another attempt to loot public funds.

“There is no real plan to explain how it is going to be funded and that usually (that) means the people are going to end up with that bill. The other problem is that, it just feels like it’s just another opportunity to loot people’s money because they have not made an effort to try and put our minds at ease to say, ‘this is what the NHI is and this is how it’s going to be run’ and how it’s going to remain sustainable going forward. But most importantly, this is how it’s going to be managed better than other public facilities are being managed at the moment. There have been a lot of objections and a lot of questions being raised and no one has cared to address those,” she explains res.

The signing ceremony will happen amid threats from some quarters to take the matter to court following concerns that include a lack of funding for the scheme.

Business Unity South Africa (Busa) and other stakeholders say they want Ramaphosa to explain how the scheme will be funded.

Busa’s Khulekani Mathe says, “As business, we do support the goal and objective of universal health coverage. We support it but we think the NHI in its current form does not take us in that direction. If anything, it undermines that goal in a sense that as a country … certain number of resources that are available like financial and human resources to service our needs. You then cannot ignore these resources and think that you can simply proceed to implement such major reforms without taking this into account.”

Below is the full interview with Khulekani Mathe