The Helen Suzman Foundation Confirms Its Support For Universal Health Coverage But Points Out The Inadequacy And Shortcomings Of The Nhi Bill

The Helen Suzman Presents Its Views On The National Health Insurance Bill To The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee On Health.

In its presentation on the National Health Insurance Bill to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health on 28 July 2021, the Helen Suzman Foundation (“HSF”) emphasised its support for universal health coverage, but pointed out the serious shortcomings of the NHI Bill. 

Before commencing with the implementation of universal health coverage, the HSF pointed out that the following needs to be achieved:

  • a properly functioning public sector health service
  • a properly regulated private sector health service
  • substantive consultation with the private sector
  • acceptance of the principle that individuals will be permitted to subscribe to private medical health insurance, as their tax payments will fund the NHI
  • clarity on the cost of the NHI and confirmation that it is affordable by the State

If all of these things are not done before the implementation of the NHI Bill, the NHI will not only not succeed in its objectives - it will inevitably lead to a further degradation of both the public and private health sectors in the country. 

Finally, the HSF wishes to highlight that its opposition to the implementation of the NHI Bill in its current form, must not be interpreted as opposition to universal health coverage, as has been implied in certain media reports.

A copy of the HSF’s presentation to the Parliamentary Committee can be found here.

Media enquiries

Anton van Dalsen
082 888 0500