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Picture: 123RF/GORODENKOFF
Picture: 123RF/GORODENKOFF

The unemployment rate in SA, according to Stats SA, was in the region of 33% in the first quarter of 2024.

The original plan for the funding of the National Health Insurance (NHI) was tax deducted from the salaries of workers plus the taxation of companies. The UK, which introduced its NHS in 1948, has always had a low unemployment rate — it stands at 4.2%. That is the first important difference between the two countries.

They have strong visa and immigration controls, while we have porous borders, with an unprecedented influx of immigrants from all corners of the world and neighbouring countries such as Zimbabwe, Mozambique and others exploiting our meagre health resources.

We have an unbelievably high medical negligence claims bill that runs into billions, something unheard of in other countries. We run out of food and medication for acute and chronic patients in primary healthcare centres. We have a chronic shortage of all categories of health professionals. We have a high attrition rate with many nurses reaching retirement age and very few recruits undergoing training for nursing. 

So, if the government is adamantly looking for trouble, it can go ahead and push the country over the cliff. But it is very unfair that the incoming government in June will have to pick up the pieces, as the ANC government has delayed the implementation of this unworkable policy long enough for someone else to deal with the mess, while its own wishes will have been accomplished because it will have received the votes of the ill-informed poor and destitute communities who are always hoping for free services from the government, even though they have been let down so many times in the past.

Cometh Dube-Makholwa
Midrand

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