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Dr Donald Gumede believes we just need to look at the NHS in the United Kingdom to draw conclusions when it comes to South Africa’s proposed NHI

The NHS was established in 1948 in the United Kingdom and now private healthcare professionals are closing their practices due to a lack of funds, yet the NHS is costing citizens 20% of their salaries.

Now coming back to South Africa, our President is prepared to sign something without proper costing.

We don’t know how much of a financial burden it’s going to impose on our already financially-burdened society.

Let’s touch the big monster that is called corruption; all our SOEs have collapsed under our current administration.

What hope do we have that they will protect our NHI funds?

Another conundrum is the federal nature of our healthcare system.

Provinces control their polices and budget, which is handed down by Treasury through NDOH, straight into provinces as per our demographics.

Now imagine a party has a Minister of Health who doesn’t have majority in a certain province, like Western Cape at the moment.

NHI will become a political tool not a healthcare aid. Hence my submissions that it should be independent from political influence.

You need pure non-political people to run it as a business model.

Healthcare should be for all, not certain people. Our Constitution guarantees that in Section 27.

My humble opinion is that we should create structures that have people who know what they are doing and not just employ our relatives.

Again, we should learn what is making the NHS fail; the short answer is that what the NHS is paying healthcare practices is way less than the expenses of their practices.

Dr Donald Gumede is the National President of the National Health Care Professions Association (NHCPA).

By Editor