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

After President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill into law, I saw the government and ANC’s PR team hard at work with the propaganda that everyone can now attend private hospitals and it will all be free.

The ANC has said a lot of nonsense in the past but this is probably the most dangerous piece of propaganda I have ever heard — one that will surely cost lives!

So let’s fact-check what Ramaphosa has said. NHI dictates a pathway system, meaning that you will go to the closest hospital/clinic in your catchment area. So if it is a dilapidated government hospital where you require life-saving surgery, bad luck for you. You also have no option to choose a different hospital or even go to your family doctor, no matter if you have been going to them for years.

But let’s look at the doctors. All doctors will provide services and be paid by the government. There is barely a single government department that pays its contractors within 30 days. Some wait as long as 180 days to be paid. What self-respecting doctor will wait over six months to be paid? They will be on the first plane to a better place.

Ramaphosa has also conveniently forgotten to mention what exactly will be covered by NHI. The NHI will only cover necessary operations. Does a knee replacement count? Does dentistry get included? What happens if I need a surgery for something that is not life threatening but drastically improves quality of life? The silence is deafening.

Don’t believe the lies and cheap politicking by the ANC. I pray that organisations such as the DA and AfriForum et al are able to get the courts to throw this horrible law into the bin.

ANC, how about fixing a public hospital system you broke before trying to reinvent the wheel — only just to steal it?

Sipho Mabuza
Centurion

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