The recent publication of the National Health Insurance (‘NHI’) Bill in South Africa has provoked vigorous debate. We commonly refer to the health crisis in South Africa as two-fold; namely a public system that renders poor quality of healthcare and a private sector that is becoming unaffordable. This oversimplification of the healthcare crisis in South Africa forces commentators either to criticise or defend the proposals at all cost.
However, what is often misunderstood is the devastating impact that ill health has on every person, family, community and the economy. In arresting this crisis every stakeholder in the healthcare value chain should be guided by their sense of humanity, and their sense of UBUNTU should drive them to ask what will a South Africa look like where every citizen is healthy and where citizens spend more years being healthy than their peers in other countries. Only when our focus changes from protecting the existing position or dogmatically supporting a proposed solution, to real care for the health of our nation will sustainable solutions unfold. Only when business cares about the health of the whole population, and puts this caring into action, will economic growth become a reality. This thinking informs this submission of the FIA.
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