Maimane Dares Ramaphosa to Use Public Healthcare Before Signing NHI

Maimane Dares Ramaphosa to Use Public Healthcare Before Signing NHI

  • Bosa leader Mmusi Maimane has challenged ANC leaders to cancel their medical aids and use public hospitals before signing the NHI Bill
  • Maimane said the leaders should get a taste of their own medicine before forcing South Africans to abandon the medical aids
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa will sign the Bill into law on Wednesday after five years of debate since it was introduced to Parliament in 2019

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Mmusi Maimane NHI Bill
Mmusi Maimane has challenged President Cyril Ramaphosa to cancel his medical aid and use public hospitals before signing the NHI Bill. Images: Veli Nhlapo/Sowetan/Gallo Images via Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Build One South Africa (Bosa) leader Mmusi Maimane has issued a bold challenge to President Cyril Ramaphosa and his cabinet before signing the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill into law.

Maimane, in a video on X, called on the president and his colleagues to cancel their private medical aid coverage and utilise public hospitals before endorsing the Bill:

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Cyril Ramaphosa signs NHI Bill into law, video gets negative reactions from South Africans

Ramaphosa is set to sign the Bill on Wednesday

Ramaphosa is expected to publicly sign the NHI Bill into law despite opposition parties, business unions, and others' resistance.

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He announced on Tuesday that the move will transform South Africa's healthcare system and ensure universal coverage for health services.

"Through this, the country will overcome critical socio-economic imbalances and inequities of the past."

The legislation initiates the government's ambitious agenda for universal health coverage. It aims to establish a cohesive healthcare system in which patients receive cost-free care upon delivery, regardless of whether it's administered at a public or private institution.

Maimane's challenge underscores concerns regarding the NHI's efficacy and feasibility, particularly under the ANC's governance.

Expressing doubts about the government's ability to execute the ambitious healthcare reform successfully, Maimane highlighted potential pitfalls such as skills flight and financial strain on the country's resources.

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"The NHI as envisaged by the ANC is going to be devastating for this country. We will have profound skills flight and ultimately it will drain the fiscus."

South Africans are not impressed

South Africans have expressed their discernment regarding the decision on social media and on the ground.

Thato Mogobe, a student lecturer at Brilliant College in Pretoria, said the problem was not the Bill but the state of public healthcare in the country.

"I don't think they understand what people are speaking against. We are happy that this is a consideration but we are disappointed that it has to come at this time, the healthcare system is not ready.
"People are already overworked, short-staffed and underpaid. Imagine when you include the private sector in this mess as well. Doctors and nurses will rund away."

A final-year medical student at Sefako Makgatho Dineo Sebelabela also noted the concerns and said the government's priority should have been fixing the public healthcare system rather than burdening it with a lack of services.

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On social media, this is what some netizens had to say.

@OkaMashaba said:

"Why is the ANC not fixing and building hospitals?"

@Nkulerrrh commented:

"I agree ☝️."

Other political parties agree with Maimane

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba echoed this sentiment, expressing disappointment over Ramaphosa's decision to proceed with the Bill's signing.

Mashaba and Maimane are not the only opposition parties opposing the signing of the Bill into law.

In a statement, Mashaba warned that the NHI could exacerbate South Africa's healthcare crisis and create opportunities for corruption.

"We urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to not sign it into law in December last year. The NHI will not fix South Africa’s broken healthcare system. Instead, it will worsen our healthcare crisis and open doors to more corruption."

SA Med Student claims nationalising healthcare will be a disaster

In a similar report, Briefly News noted that a South African medical student slammed the NHI Bill on TikTok.

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South African med student criticises NHI Bill, claims nationalising healthcare will be a disaster

She argued nationalising healthcare would worsen an already struggling system and wouldn't be funded well.

Source: Briefly News

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