SAHPC says many NHI questions unanswered

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The South African Health Professionals Collaboration (SAHPC) supports universal health coverage; however, it says it opposes the NHI Bill in its current form. The NHI Bill seeks to provide universal access to healthcare in the country.

The SAHPC’s spokesperson, Climus Makhubele, lists their concerns about the NHI Bill.

“Nobody can explain to you what is the budget for the NHI and even if some numbers are given out there, they don’t know how we’re actually going to fund the NHI. Number two, as a scheme you need to be able to define what other treatments that the population is going to get through the NHI. Thirdly, if this is about universal health coverage how are we going to deal with the rural areas which have no facilities?”

Meanwhile, Deputy Director General of  the National Health Insurance, Dr Nicolas Crisp, has called the questions raised by the SAHPC disingenuous.

“One doesn’t start off by writing that into a piece of legislation because every year Parliament appropriates based on what Parliament has been provided by the National Treasury through the long budget process which starts in July of every year. So, the ultimate answer to the question is how much money do we have, for which benefits are we able to provide at any point in time and we have responded to all these questions before, more than once. “