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‘The NHI is here – I have found my pen’ – Ramaphosa

‘The NHI is here – I have found my pen’ – Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers the 2024 State of The Nation Address (SONA) at Cape Town City Hall on 8 February 2024 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo: Shelley Christians)

President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to sign into law the National Health Insurance Bill. It is the biggest overhaul of health policy in SA since 1994.The purpose is to extend decent healthcare to all South Africans by pooling private and public healthcare spending into a single fund called the NHI Fund.

Follow the Daily Maverick team live as they report on the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill being signed into law.


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    • Reasonable Observer says:

      The NHI won’t get off the ground and the president knows it.

      The DA should not make a fuss now, as it only advertises the false optics that the ANC is thinking about the poor. If the well being of the poor was anything near the ANC’s minds, the clinics would not have been neglected as they have, the Guptas wouldn’t have been allowed to strip SA dry, and the emergency services number, which worked in the days of the old regime, would still have worked. My advice is for the DA is criticise by all means, but not drastic protests, don’t make the election about it. The ANC will exploit that just as Ramaphosa is trying to do now. And the message to many uneducated will be that the ANC wants good health care for all and the DA wants to stop them.

      Pleeeeze Mr Steenberg, be wise. Don’t fall into the trap. Bide your time take it to court but frame the message properly when you do. If you make the election about that, the ANC may well reclaim a lot of lost support. They left the signing until now for the explicit purpose that the DA would position itself n the eyes of the not so educated as the party along with it’s allies as those resisting more accessible health care. That was a dirty trick. Don’t fall for it.

    • Rae Earl says:

      Estimated to cost up to R400 billion and more per year, this NHI rush job has two purposes:
      1. Fool the voters into thinking they will have free medical services quickly if not sooner
      2. Open a new and lucrative cash cow for looting by the ANC comrades still in cabinet despite the Zondo
      commission (still not released) exposure of their thieving ways.

      This is nothing but a cheap vote buying ruse by Ramaphosa. It may get the votes but its implementation is years away and fraught with many problems due to the usual delays and dithering by the ANC in planning and instituting any reforms. They have totally messed up formal medicine in the past 15 years so there is no chance of them having the expertise to run a medical health system.

    • Ex Pat says:

      …and so the political (and financial) feeding frenzy begins.. goodbye SA… 🙁

    • Tito Diale says:

      @Reasonable Observer-the uneducated you mean blacks in particular. The same was said when the free access to university was introduced by Zuma but now it working though the are challenges but at least we know it is working. NHI will work whether your DA and its cronies like it or not. NHI is not perfect but it will be implemented money must be found somehow. We the uneducated are tired of always being the second class citizens.
      The uneducated are watching

      • Thinker and Doer says:

        Sadly, Mr Diale, the higher education system is not working, witness the current NSFAS fiasco that has left thousands of qualified students without the funding that they were approved for. There are now generations of young people who have been essentially tossed aside by the government, with the absolutely pathetic basic education system, that has left them unemployed. The government pretends to care for people and makes abundant promises, but really they don’t care for the people at all, they only care for their access to power, and the opportunity to loot funds. They are shamefully using people again, making populist promises that the government is completely incapable of fulfilling. All that the ANC will do is loot the NHI fund, and tragically, health care access for those who are currently least able to access it, will not meaningfully improve.

      • Chris Buys says:

        Oh yes… All those unemployed people with degrees shows just how well that system is working. Quickly it showed that having a degree does not make you a first class citizen. It takes hard work and dedication. Not a free pass.

      • William Dryden says:

        Hi Tito, the money for the NHI will be found from the educated that are working while the uneducated will still be second class citizens until they get off their butts and get a job or a trade.

    • Jos Verschoor says:

      Which are all these countries where it is done, successfully. Probably countries that are rich enough that can afford a “Rolls Royce” setup, and that is neither the UK nor RSA

    • Notinmyname Fang says:

      Let’s rather watch paint drying…

    • A B says:

      If the DA is wise, they would go cape independance. We no longer need nor want to be yoked to a racist neo marxist oppressor and pay them tax.

    • Thinker and Doer says:

      In the final message on the blog above, Minister Phaahla is noted as saying, “Phaahla: We want to say to all South Africans, this is a process. When it’s ready, you will be informed. The medical aids will be told when they are no longer relevant. Keep your medical scheme, everything will be transparent.”. The fundamental problem with the NHI Bill is that there has been a fundamental lack of transparency- the cost implications and funding model have not even begun to be worked out in detail, and the taxpayers are going to be saddled with a likely whopping and completely unaffordable increase in tax. This is completely unacceptable to place a deliberately and completely unquanitifed burden on taxpayers through legislation. Also, how medical schemes will operate in conjunction with the NHI to provide services that are not covered by the NHI is also not still not clarified. It is also completely inaccurate to refer to “free health care services”, tax payers are already paying for all of the public health care services, and now will be paying vastly higher taxes to pay for the implementation of the NHI, which the government is completely incapable to implement, and which will be subject to massive looting and corruption. The government repeatedly ignores and dismisses these very legitimate and fundamental concerns.

    • Dan African says:

      It is time to pack my bags and leave this country!

    • L Dennis says:

      What a disgraceful bunch. I want to read a newspaper once without having to read of incompetence as is evident by irresponsible cheap politicking. South African people don’t want to be beggars for life they want to sustain themselves. They are tired of couch stuffing corrupt leaders. I pray for our beautiful country.

    • matthew bull says:

      I think it is the right thing to push for accessible/affordable healthcare for all. which i think we would all accept where it not for the fact this government has failed in everything it has tried to do – number one and two of which are gainful employment for people and security. this bill is easy to sign…because the government doesn’t have to do anything other than sign it and hope they can collect the money. Use your vote wisely.

    • Trenton Carr says:

      Not only do they try scrape the bottom of the barrel, but drill a hole in it.

    • D'Esprit Dan says:

      So can Minister Phaahla tell Panyaza Lesufi to stop lying through his teeth to people that on the 30th of May they can walk into any health facility and get free treatment?

      Can Ramaphosa tell Lesufi to stop lying for votes?

      Can we, as voters and taxpayers, call Lesufi out for the disgusting liar that he is? A populist liar with no interest in the people other than to sustain his EFF-lite policies. A duplicitous, lying crook who hates ordinary South Africans. Lesufi, your own president and health minister have said you’re a liar: do you have the decency to admit it?

    • Geoff Coles says:

      For signing this, may the President suffer from permanent constipatiom, or the reverse.

    • Peter Oosthuizen says:

      He found his pen! How did he do that without f*****g something up?

    • NHI is ANC Bank funded by Iran for reporting Israel to the ICJ, and is not to be trusted.

      Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted


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