FF Plus warns about NHI public participation process

Opinion by FF Plus

FF Plus warns about NHI public participation process
FF Plus warns about NHI public participation process. Photo: Pixabay

The FF Plus wants to warn that if there are any complaints about interference with the public participation process of the National Health Insurance (NHI), the party will be obliged to declare a dispute against the entire process at Parliament.

This follows after it came to light in the media on 28 November 2019, that the MEC for Health in the Free State gave permission for an official pamphlet to be distributed by the Free State provincial government which encourages people to support the NHI Bill. This is not the first time that something like this has happened.

In October this year, it also came to light that the Pharmacy Council sent a ‘bully’ email to members in the pharmaceutical industry which requested that members must complete the attachment to the email which states that they support the NHI Bill. The FF Plus confronted the Minister about the email in the Portfolio Committee for Health and a day later, the Pharmacy Council apologized to its members for sending the email.

The FF Plus is currently in the Eastern Cape to monitor the public participation process and serve as a member of the Portfolio Committee. The public participation process is specifically there to afford people the opportunity to give their input about a specific process or bill without any pressure or interference from the government, the people are, thus, given an opportunity to exercise their democratic right to be for or against a process or bill.

However, what some of the supporters and officials of the government are currently busy with amounts to undemocratic actions as they are manipulating the NHI process so as to bring about an outcome that will benefit the government.

It will be disastrous for South Africa if the NHI is adopted and implemented as law, specifically if it was preceded by a manipulated process and if it does not reflect the democratic views of the people or the medical industry. The FF Plus is still of the opinion that all medical professionals in the country should be consulted regarding the NHI and if the government wants to do the honorable thing, it will announce such a process and reach out to the medical industry at once.

The FF Plus acts in the best interests of all South Africans, whether in the private or the public health care system, and the party will not allow the government to further exploit the process for their own gain.

Read the original article in Afrikaans by Philip van Staden on FF Plus

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