Doctors during surgery. Picture: iStock.
The ANC doesn’t have the Midas touch – most of what it has touched has turned to mud, not gold. And the latest possible disaster-in-the-making is National Health Insurance (NHI).
The aim is laudable: reduce the outrageously high costs of private medical services and rehabilitate the over-stretched and crumbling state health sector.
But, as Alex van den Heever, of Wits University, said at a panel discussion on the NHI recently, the plan “will create another state-run monopoly that is destined to fail and become racked by corruption and state-capture issues the likes of Eskom, Transnet and other state-owned enterprises have faced in recent years”.
According to Van den Heever, badly needed reform to the health system could be carried out “incrementally over time” with more accountability and policy regulation rather than in one big, state-run monopoly.
Therein lies the problem. This is not about logic, it is about politics and the need to forge ahead – come hell or high water – with the transformation of SA into a quasi-socialist state, accompanied by a forced redistribution of wealth.
South Africa, though, does not have the financial muscle to sustain such a scheme. If it goes ahead, people will suffer … and not just health-wise.
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