If the legislated changes proposed by the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill significantly undermine our private health-care system, my family will emigrate. 

I run a company that has 335 employees. We like to think we are the leaders at what we do. We are growing quickly and, perhaps most importantly, we believe we are just scratching the surface of where we feel we can take our company in SA and across Africa.

Despite the SA economy, our future is bright. My wife and I are both professionals, we both have more than 25 working years ahead of us. We love living in SA. It is our home, it is where most of our family and friends live. Our children are happy in their schools. It certainly is where our hearts are and as a result we have never seriously considered leaving.

I feel strongly about the responsibility I have to our staff and the 1,500 or so people they support. However, my first responsibility is to my family. We have had two major health scares with my son. He recovered from both due to the outstanding care we received. I am well aware of the reality that this privilege of effective health care only applies to 8.25-million South Africans and that this is not an acceptable percentage of our total population.

However, here is the cold, hard truth: with our past context if you take away my ability to heal my children effectively I will leave SA. It is not an emotional decision, it is a logical one. If I arrive at that decision given how much is keeping me in SA, I can’t imagine how many more of SA’s precious skills will go too.

This bill is not just a health-care matter. It seems to me it is time business in SA stands up.

James Holley
Via e-mail