LETTER: A poor grasp of NHI needs
Minister Joe Phaahla should get all the facts before advocating for National Health Insurance
It is important that health minister Dr Joe Phaahla understands that the first step needed to improve healthcare in SA lies within his scope and mandate, which he should have made sure that he fulfilled a long time ago instead of allowing our health system to deteriorate to the extent it has.
Was this perhaps why he was overlooked for this position when an acting minister of health was appointed after Zweli Mkhize resigned as health minister? If that is the case, I owe President Cyril Ramaphosa an apology, because I couldn’t understand why an acting health minister who had no medical background whatsoever was appointed instead of Phaahla, who was deputy health minister at the time.
South Africans who have little choice but to use public hospitals know all too well the shortcomings that make it impossible to even think of implementing universal health coverage. Going on like a broken record about implementing National Health Insurance (NHI) just makes the minister look like somebody who does not understand the financial demands or administration challenges of universal health coverage.
The minister must allow the country to make proper preparations for this project so it can be revisited some time in future. The most important first step is to do an in-depth study of what a successful NHI would require.
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