The DA is expected to unveil its alternative vision for universal healthcare on Wednesday, promising a better deal for patients in half the time of National Health Insurance (NHI) and at no extra cost to the fiscus. It proposes scrapping medical aid tax credits, which are valued at R17.4bn for the current fiscal year, and using the resources to improve public healthcare and subsidise medical scheme membership The government promised to deliver NHI within 14 years when it published its green paper in August 2011, but progress has been slow despite Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s drive to get it going. The plan has also been criticised as unaffordable, and based on unrealistic expectations of economic growth. The DA's plan, called Our Health Plan, proposes a strong and continued role for private healthcare and medical schemes, a position unlikely to find favour in some quarters of government. It includes measures to strengthen the medical scheme industry along the lines of the soci...

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