The civil rights organisation AfriForum strongly condemns the appointment of 44 employees to work on the National Health Insurance (NHI) from January 2023 and has instructed its legal team to investigate the matter. AfriForum argues that these appointments at a cost of R30 million are completely irrational and indefensible, because the legislation process is nowhere near finished.
The Department of Health has also announced that further posts will become available in 2023/24 which will grow the NHI’s technical and administrative staff to a total of 132.
“The government shows disdain for the legislative process by already appointing employees to the NHI, while the legislation has not been passed by parliament. It further shows that the government does not care at all about the public participation process, which was also seen by the way the government ignored comments on proposed amendments to the health legislation,” says Reiner Duvenage, Campaign Officer for strategy and content at AfriForum.
The government has been trying to impose a monopolised health system on the country for a number of years and tabled the NHI bill in parliament in 2019.
AfriForum argues that NHI is unaffordable and impracticable, but will also lead to the mass emigration of health workers. Moreover, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the government has proven once again that it is incapable of managing public funds and that it is obsessed with power.
“The NHI is correctly labeled as the ‘Eskom of health care’ and will become the largest government entity that will manage approximately R470 billion annually.
The inevitable mismanagement and failure of the NHI will therefore destroy the healthcare sector as a whole. AfriForum will continue to fight against the NHI with all means at our disposal,” concludes Duvenage.