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Solidarity looking at all avenues to fight NHI

Civil right group Solidarity is considering all avenues to fight the damaging effects the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) will have, the organisation said in a statement.

by (ANA) African News Agency

 2019-08-17 16:01

in News

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“The NHI in its current format is heading for an unquestionable disaster. All medical practitioners, taxpayers, and South African citizens will be affected negatively by this. Therefore, we undertake to use all resources at our disposal to combat the impact of it,” senior researcher at the Solidarity Research Institute (SRI) Morné Malan said.

Solidarity threatens to go to Constitutional Court

Solidarity would provide input at any public participation process to address the bill’s shortcomings, but would also prepare accordingly if the bill was accepted in its current, condemning format.

“We are currently investigating all formal processes through which we could fight the proposed law, and already gave our legal team instruction to test the constitutionality of the current format in court, should it not be amended as desired. The history of the NHI is characterised by an unwillingness from the department [of heath] to deviate from their initial plan. Therefore, we are preparing ourselves to address that proposal, if necessary, in the Constitutional Court. We have been involved with and studying the NHI for two years now. We are trusted with the information and ready to, if necessary, fight.”

Investigating alternative systems

In addition to participating in the formal legal processes that accompany the process of the NHI ratification, Solidarity was also investigating alternative systems that could function, should the NHI in its current format acquire the power of law.

“As we participate in all the formal processes in an effort to combat the drastic consequences of the bill’s implementation, we also investigate international alternatives to ensure that even under an NHI system our members will still be able to practice in their profession with the freedom, independence, and the passion they are entitled to,” Solidarity Occupational Guild for Health Practitioners head Hennie Bierman said.

“We therefore have an all-inclusive procedure in place with various contingency plans. We will try to influence the bill and if it does not succeed, we will fight the implementation of it. If that fails, we will put systems in place that will vaccinate South African citizens against state interference in healthcare. We will fight for South African citizens’ health, whether the state likes it or not,” Malan said.