NHI will collapse like the road accident fund: John Steenhuisen

DA leader John Steenhuisen says the government cannot manage health care as it is so it is inconceivable that the NHI will be a success. 'NHI will simply open the door for more looting and corruption,' he said during a tour of the dilapidated and abandoned Kempton Park Hospital.
DA leader John Steenhuisen says the government cannot manage health care as it is so it is inconceivable that the NHI  will be a success. 'NHI will simply open the door for more looting and corruption,' he said during a tour of the dilapidated and abandoned Kempton Park Hospital.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

DA leader John Steenhuisen has sounded the alarm for South Africans over minister of health Zweli Mkhize's comments that the NHI will be run much like the financially strained and troubled road accident fund (RAF).

Steenhuisen said this on Monday during a visit to the dilapidated and abandoned Kempton Park Hospital.

The visit launched the DA's "real state of the nation" (Sona) ahead of president Cyril Ramaphosa's Sona in parliament next month.

The DA leader said the ANC government was not managing health care currently but  was pursuing universal health care as envisaged through the NHI.

It will be a total disaster, warned Steenhuisen.

"It is very clear that this government does not have the capacity to manage health care currently, and it is therefore completely inconceivable how they see the NHI  as being able to address the health concerns of this country," said Steenhuisen.

"We all know the NHI is going to open the door for more looting and corruption in the health-care sector, which we know is already riddled with corruption and maladministration.

"A comment made a few weeks ago by the health minister that the NHI will be run along the lines of the road accident fund should terrify South Africans," he said.

"Anybody who has had dealings or is familiar with the bankrupt and corrupt RAF should be terrified by this because South Africans need quality and affordable health care."

Steenhuisen said the DA had tabled an alternative to the NHI in parliament. The DA plan is known as Sizani Universal Healthcare.

This plan would work better than the NHI, he said, and would ensure there are no health-care centres, like the Kempton Park hospital he visited, that are left to collapse. 

 "What we need to see and what we need to show are workable alternatives to the current crisis, and this hospital is one of them," said Steenhuisen.

"Two hospitals nearby are over-crowded and this causes a knock-on effect  that causes deaths.

"Here, between these over-crowded hospitals, lies this facility, which today is a seven-storey monument to the folly of a nationalised health system. It is clear this government does not have the capacity to manage health care."    

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