- Cyril Ramaphosa says he fully supports the NHI
- He made the statement on Tuesday at an ANC event
- This comes after economists and other analysts have raised a number of serious concerns with the proposal
Cyril Ramaphosa has promised that government will move forward with the National Health Insurance.
The president made the comments on Tuesday, a week after the NHI Bill was tabled in Parliament.
The bill has raised many concerns about how exactly it will work, as well as where its funding will come from.
The NHI is aimed at providing "comprehensive healthcare services" to all South Africans but many of its details remain vague. For example, Aaron Motsoaledi has said that the scheme will cost around R250 billion a year, Briefly.co.za has gathered, but he himself admits that this is a just a 'guesstimate'.
Additionally, the Bill says that it will be funded primarily through taxes, including a payroll tax and a a surcharge on personal income tax, among others. However, some economists have raised concerns about the viability of such tax hikes.
For example, analyst Peter Attard Montalto says that government would need to increase taxes sharply to raise enough money to fund the NHI. As a result, he says VAT would have to be raised by at least 3% - something which could hurt many citizens in the wallet and may potentially have negative consequences for the economy.
Additionally, government's own pilot programme for the NHI raised questions about the scheme's feasibility.
Nevertheless, Ramaphosa says he fully supports the Bill.
"I would like to say that the NHI is here to stay. Whether people like it or not, it's going nowhere," the president said at an ANC Women's League event on Tuesday.
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