- Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize said that under the NHI, all hospitals, both public and private, would offer the same quality of service
- Mkhize said he believes the NHI will improve the quality of health care in South Africa
- However, many South Africans agreed that private and public hospitals being the same is just not a good thing
The controversial National Health Insurance (NHI) initiative has been a topic of discussion ever since the concept was first introduced to the public.
The government vows the NHI bill will offer quality health care to all South Africans - regardless of income. However, many fear that it might lead to more corruption and the failure of the private health care sector in South Africa.
On Wednesday, Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize made remarks about the NHI that gave believers hope but created even more worry amongst those who remain skeptical.
According to the Minister, there will "no distinction" between public and private hospitals. News24 reported Mkhize made the statements during a visit to the post-natal ward at King Dinuzulu Hospital.
He was quoted by the publication saying:
"We are starting a new decade in which we will be instituting decisive actions in the implementation of NHI. When it is fully implemented, there will be no distinction between public and private hospitals. We believe that, incrementally, we are going to be seeing changes and improvements in the quality of healthcare."
While his remarks were meant to reassure South Africans of quality medical service, many believed that what he was saying was not exactly a good thing.
Twitter user, @OwaseMzantsi, commented:
"If Mkhize was talking about bringing level of care in public hospitals to same level as private, he'd be talking. Problem is that he's talking about bringing privates to publics' level, which will be an absolute disaster, by the end of it, ALL SA hospitals will be a disaster."
Another tweep, @AngelInTouch, wrote:
"Are you for real? What absolute rubbish! You are going to bring down a medical system that has created jobs to many to the level of the public hospital system, which is a disaster!"
Social media user, @SouthAfricanRed, added:
"NHI is just another excuse for more money. It's another @MYANC initiative to fill their pockets. Another avenue of corruption. Just now the @MYANC will get access to our pension funds, and then we will have generations of destitute old people begging our streets."
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