Cabinet approves NHI white paper

After the Gauteng health department previously denied allegations that untrained staff conducted post-mortems, the national health department has now “picked up” that untrained staff such as drivers and cleaners have been conducting post-mortems for the Gauteng health department since 2006, reports News24.

Just a day after this news the cabinet approved the department of health’s latest white paper on National Health Insurance, paving the way for it to be published as a policy document in the government gazette (Businesslive).

The NHI aims to nationalise a far larger piece of the healthcare / medical aid industry in South Africa. As I mentioned on this Renegade Report podcast, private healthcare and medical aid schemes have been a critical part to sustaining low, middle and high income lifestyles in South Africa.

The national treasury under Pravin Gordhan looked closely at financing options for the NHI and has only knocked the idea on financing constraints – not grounds of efficiency and economic theory. The health department has argued that private medical aid scheme contributions be made prohibitively expensive to force people into the state’s NHI scheme. It’s interesting to note the public protector’s recent recommendation that the SARB should “promote the wellbeing of citizens”. Would funding the NHI promote the wellbeing of citizens, at least in the short-term?

Let’s see if this socialist agenda is followed through to the next iteration of the NHI, because if it does, SA runs a major human capital flight risk going forward.