A professor at the Wits School of Governance, Alex van den Heever, said both the NHI and Medical Schemes Amendment bills tried to restrict what medical aids could offer, reducing the access of middle class to health.

“If the government wants to take away a right to healthcare they need to do so with a rational purpose. Rationality is a constitutional principle. Restricting access to private healthcare has no rational reason,” he said.

Van den Heever added that this attempt to “prohibit medical schemes from covering benefits covered by the NHI Fund” was absurd.

“I do not see this provision ever seeing the light of day as no health system in the world takes away the right of people to select their own care with their own money,” he said, repeating that there was “no rational public purpose” served by the provision.

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