SA’s “glacial” vaccination programme is simply a function of the fact that the state wanted to run it, to demonstrate to society how well the proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme would work. (“SA’s bungles cost it badly on vaccines”, March 25).

Many private health providers chose not to pursue the private procurement of vaccines for fear that this would offend the government and lead to recriminations under the NHI scheme.

In time, should it emerge that SA suffered a disproportionate death burden as a consequence of the pandemic, particularly with regard to deaths that occurred beyond the second quarter of 2021, an inquiry should be conducted into what transpired between the government and private health providers to judge whether any individuals or institutions should face civil or criminal actions.

As concerns the NHI, the government has succeeded in demonstrating what to expect from that scheme and what its consequences would be for the country.

Frans Cronje
Institute of Race Relations

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