The aim of the NHI Bill is to bring better health care to more South Africans. Picture: GALLO IMAGES
The aim of the NHI Bill is to bring better health care to more South Africans. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

Further to the letter by Dr Lwazi Manzi of the department of health (“NHI funding can work”, January 10) assuring us of a well-run National Health Insurance (NHI), I thought the following case gives a different perspective of how the NHI will likely be run.

A doctor narrates how a colleague running a top-class surgery unit at a public hospital required a highly specialised but essential drill (to carefully drill near the brain). The doctor approached the board for the funds only to be told, with presumably quite straight faces, that the doctor could buy a much cheaper drill at a local hardware store.

This laughable but dangerously incompetent response is like something from an episode of Mr Bean. I told my elderly physician father about it and he couldn’t stop laughing. What’s definitely not funny is that the same dangerous idiots who sit on hospital boards may well end up running the NHI. I understand that the doctor has since thrown in the towel and left.

David P Kramer
Via e-mail

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