The Mercury

NHI is not a cure for our medical woes


BY ALL accounts, the NHI is going to be a reality. Instead of fixing the malaise in public hospitals, the government is pressing on with its NHI implementa­tion.

The concept in principle is a wonderful gesture. However, with dwindling tax collection and a sluggish economy, it’s just not feasible yet.

For seniors and retirees it just might be our worst nightmare.

I consider my wife and I a medical risk based on our ages. To this end we pay for a medical aid and it’s no great shakes of a plan either.

It gives one the freedom to choose a specialist and a hospital at times of need and it gives one peace of mind.

Now consider NHI… the minister of health will be the czar of health for all citizens. The medical aid will not be useful as we can only use it for complement­ary treatment – whatever that is supposed to mean.

As retirees our taxes from our pension earnings will go up to pay for NHI, leaving less for us to live on.

Should one need a hip replacemen­t in six years’ time some bureaucrat in Pretoria will tell us where to go and when we can have it done.

Before that we will need to go to a district clinic first, then be referred to the district hospital, which my friends tell me is one hell of a hole, being overcrowde­d, filthy and at most times poorly functionin­g. Just “ask” the cancer patients who failed to get treatment from state hospitals in KZN. Sadly, many did not survive.

It was an absolute disgrace and the callous stand of the then KZN Health MEC was shocking.

Please spare us the pain of a delinquent and Orwellian NHI. Leave the medical aids alone for now. The NHI is a pain we don’t need.

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