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Picture: 123RF/HXDBZXY
Picture: 123RF/HXDBZXY

Adrian Gore is starting to sound like Bill Gates — more of a politician than the CEO of a wealthy, successful company (“NHI is morally correct but handle with care, says Discovery’s Adrian Gore,” May 13). To be fair, his own efforts have largely contributed to its success, but this should not delude him into thinking the state can do the same with National Health Insurance (NHI).

His suggestion of a blended funding model for healthcare is moot. We already have that via our taxes. The small portion of the population that can afford medical aid subscriptions also pay taxes to provide a medical care system that is free at point of service. Many others pay “out of pocket” for private providers rather than stand in long lines, waiting to be treated by either overworked medical staff or others who are just plain uncaring.

The problem is not with the funding or a lack of moral intent, the problem lies in the management and usage of that funding. We have a grave shortage of doctors and nurses, vacant posts, hospitals that take years to repair and suffer water and food shortages, and service providers that are not paid timeously. The list is long and depressing.

And when emergency funds are made available, often from well-meaning donors, we see corruption and fraud by those who are supposed to have the best interests of the poor and indigent at heart.

Gore says the NHI model is a good idea but must be handled with care. Well, I would like him to point out in which area of governance we see that level of care or competence. The list of governance failures is too long for a short letter, but experience should be enough to oppose placing any further reliance or eye-watering budgets in the hands of government to deliver a complex and specialised service for the populace when they are at their most vulnerable.

There are many alternative and better systems to provide an efficient and affordable healthcare service. Experimenting with them on a smaller scale would avoid a wholesale crash of healthcare for the entire country.

Gail Daus-van Wyk, George

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