Picture: 123RF/SAMSONOVS
Picture: 123RF/SAMSONOVS

Given that the government is unable to settle Eskom’s debt of more than R400bn, nor Transnet’s loans of R122bn, it is fair to say that the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill is dead in the water.

Aside from its expected annual budget of R450bn, which is fiscally preposterous, the proposed management thereof by the government will no doubt result in the same fiasco as the current health department.

Moreover, a mass exodus of doctors and health professionals will take place if the bill becomes law.

However, there appears to be little chance that NHI will come to pass because the government simply does not have the money. Nor will the IMF consent to this lunacy if we seek a bailout, which appears to be imminent.

There is also the not-so-small matter of state capture (read corruption), which has thus far not been resolved. The economy has virtually hit the wall, so raising taxes will also not be an option.

The government has not done its homework and clearly doesn’t understand the maths. If it did, the costing calculation would have discouraged such a hare-brained scheme.

Nathan Cheiman