AfriForum prepares to take on the NHI

The recently ratifies National Health Insurance Act has been opposed by much of the private sector and political opposition, but AfriForum is taking the lead





May 15, 2024

AfriForum prepares to take on the NHI

AfriForum, a civil rights organization, has launched a robust condemnation of President Cyril Ramaphosa's recent ratification of the National Health Insurance Bill (NHI), describing it as an unconstitutional and unenforceable move. The organization has vowed to challenge the implementation of the NHI, pledging to take its fight to the highest court in the land. This announcement comes as Ramaphosa signed the bill into law, a move AfriForum has labeled as a dangerous election gimmick.

AfriForum's opposition to the NHI centers on its belief that the bill will not effectively improve access to healthcare, instead granting excessive power to the Minister of Health. The organization argues that the bill infringes on the rights of health workers to freely practice their profession and lacks the necessary clarity and comprehensibility required for legislation. Moreover, AfriForum asserts that the NHI undermines patients' autonomy to choose their treatment, while encroaching on the private healthcare sector.

In a statement, Louis Boshoff, Campaign Officer at AfriForum, criticized Ramaphosa's decision as politically motivated, lacking any consideration for health or common sense. Boshoff highlighted concerns that the NHI would impose an unaffordable tax burden on South African taxpayers and jeopardize the independence of private healthcare, potentially driving medical workers out of the country.

The NHI bill, approved by both houses of parliament in 2023, has faced significant opposition from various quarters, including health experts and economists, who warn of its potential damage to the economy and healthcare sector. AfriForum's stance aligns with several other organizations that have indicated their intention to challenge the bill's constitutionality in court.

AfriForum recently convened a conference to discuss alternative solutions for healthcare in South Africa, highlighting the organization's commitment to finding viable and sustainable healthcare solutions for all citizens. Boshoff concluded by condemning what he described as the ANC's misleading statements about the NHI, calling for an end to what he termed "health fairy tales" that lack the necessary resources for implementation.

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