Cape Town - The ANC on Wednesday took issue with the Democratic
Alliance over its stance on the proposed national health insurance (NHI)
The DA's statement on the NHI earlier this week could
be described as "pretentious, reckless, and... inconsiderate" of the
health needs of the poor, National Assembly health committee chairperson
Bevan Goqwana said in a statement.
On Monday, DA spokesperson Mike Waters said the poor would likely suffer more under the NHI.
The DA's research showed that not only were there
serious doubts around the feasibility of the NHI, but that it would
actually work against its stated objective to provide better health
services for all.
"We believe that the poor will suffer more under the
NHI because it will divert billions of rands from other development
challenges such as provision of basic services, education, and housing,"
Goqwana said this statement was "very unfortunate".
"It is a known fact that access to healthcare in our
country is still characterised by the depth of one's pocket and their
overall socioeconomic standing in society."
About 87% of the population was dependent on the
country's over-stretched and under-resourced public health system,
weighed down by the increasing burden of disease.
On the other hand, the country had a highly resourced
private health sector that serviced the needs of a mere 13% of
It was within this context that the decision had been
made to introduce the NHI as part of bringing about equity in the
provision of healthcare.
"It is this simple reality that the Hon Waters and his party need to understand and accept."
The committee would in due course start with the
process of public hearings which would allow all South Africans, rich
and poor, to articulate their views on the matter, Goqwana said.