Cape Town - The ANC is planning a massive campaign to get its members and the public behind its plan for a national health insurance (NHI) system.
An NHI document from the ANC task team that had been sent to ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe was recently leaked to the media. Draft documents were also leaked to the media in February.
"Attacks on the NHI by the opposition, the media and businesses have come to our attention and we expect resistance to its implementation," reads a letter from Bandile Masuku, the coordinator of the National Executive Committee for Education and Health, to Mantashe.
An NHI campaign committee was consequently formed consisting of ANC, SACP, Cosatu en Sanco (South African National Civic Organisation) members. "The committee has developed a plan for the mass mobilisation of our members and the general public in support of the NHI."
The latest document highlights the problems undermining the South African health environment, such as unequal access to health services and the shortage of medical personnel, but it offers no real solutions.
Alex van den Heever, an independent health economist, says the quality of the document is very poor. "There is no diagnostic analysis of the health system's problems and neither is there any indication of how the specific reform issues will be handled. There is also no explanation as to why the proposal adopts the format it has.
"What is most concerning is that no sustainability analysis has been done. The general impression is that the document creates more questions than answers."
Van den Heever views the lack of technical analysis as problematic. "It would not be in the public interest to force this nonsense on the country as rapidly as possible in an effort to sidestep technical research."
According to the report the first phase of the NHI's implementation would indeed involve consultation with all interest groups in the public and private sectors.
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