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The NHI will be the catalyst to achieve “Free medical care and hospitalisation for all, and we are determined to achieve this goal,“ said President Cyril Ramaphosa in response to a question on the NHI in Parliament Thursday.
“We are one of the countries with the highest inequality, and this requires a policy change,“ he began.
The president pointed out that South Africa has enough resources “to give every man, woman and child health care, but we refuse because we want to promote interests of a few to the detriment of the rest.”
The NHI will change this, he said.
“As we have done before with all major policy interventions since 1994, we will ensure effective consultation and engagement across society at all stages of this process,” said Ramaphosa.
He said the quest for universal health coverage ranks among “one of the most significant public-private partnerships that we will undertake,” urging all social partners to be involved in its design and implementation.
Ramaphosa added that the NHI will be implemented “incrementally and within available resources.”
“The NHI provides an opportunity to fundamentally transform health care in this country to ensure greater fairness, improved health outcomes and a more productive workforce,” he added.
Ramaphosa was emphatic in addressing those who say “we must leave things as they are.”
“We are called upon to retain an unjust system that deprives the majority of South Africans access to the doctors, specialists, allied health professionals that are supposed to serve only a few to the exclusion of the rest… To this we say NO!”
“We re one nation, let us begin to act as one nation,” the president underlined.