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DA reveals that an R5 billion budget was spent on failed NHI pilots

The party stipulates that NHI pilots had “inadequate planning, a lack of resources and inconsistent communication.”

 by Buhle Lindwa

The Democratic Alliance (DA) continues its fight against the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill and has published data that proves R5.1 billion was spent on 10 failed pilots since the 2012/2013 financial year.

DA claims Health Minister “ignores” the grave concerns regarding the NHI legislation

This budget breakdown was revealed through parliamentary questions published on Monday, and the party states that Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, is “simply ignoring” the National Health Insurance criticism.

DA claims that the Public Health Strengthening (Genesis) Report echoed that the NHI pilot projects had:

“Inadequate planning, a lack of resources, inconsistent communication, a lack of coordination where necessary and insufficient mechanisms to monitor progress and thereby ensure course correction”.

 Democratic Alliance

Financial and Fiscal Commission data proves “under- expenditure”

The Financial and Fiscal Commission (FFC) revealed statistics last week, based on the NHI Conditional Grants in the provinces, and found that there is “under- expenditure” of grants because there has been no capacity to further build district offices, and rollout the various programmes.

“FFC further noted that for conditional grants to be successful, districts and provinces need to be given at least three years lead time. This was never done for the NHI grants. Provinces and districts were simply given money and targets and no capacitation was afforded to them. That is why over R5 billion was wasted and more money continues to be lost to this NHI programme.”

Department of Health spent R1.5 billion on NHI projects in the past year

The party further reveals that it costs an average of R1.5 million to train a doctor over six years, and the money spent on NHI projects could have further trained 3 400 doctors and filled “hundreds” of nursing vacancies.

The public sector is documented to have 4003 doctors employed, and the DA states continuous spending on the NHI fund is premature and ill-advised.

The Department of Health spent R1.5 billion on NHI projects in the 2017/2018 financial year and the DA states that if the implementation of the NHI follows through, despite failed pilots, it would be “disastrous” as it is a display of total disregard for public money in a finically stretched industry.

“What is clear is that the ANC government seeks to proceed with the implementation of the disastrous NHI Bill despite the fact that the pilots have failed. The lessons from those failed pilots have yet to be taken on board, and the continued waste of public money on the implementation of the NHI programme, without the requisite training for districts and provinces.”

 Democratic Alliance