It is surprising that little critical attention has been devoted to the ANC’s adamant intention to impose National Health Insurance (NHI), despite the fact that the socialised health system in the UK is collapsing.
Amongst the ten claims touting the NHI is that contributions would be less than what private medical aids charge. But what the NHI boffins do not consider is where the taxes required to fund this gargantuan health scheme will come from. For it is undisputed that emigration is steadily diminishing the taxpayers’ corps while the number of dependents on state welfare continues to expand. More than ten years ago, then Finance minister Trevor Manuel warned that it was not possible to continue to fund welfare based on a diminishing taxpayer base.
From its inception in the UK, it was apparent the NHS (National Health Service)was a naïve ideological concept. As early as 1952, free optical and dental care had to be reined in because it was not economically viable. Since then, what constitutes a disability and the reality of claims deriving from polygamous marriages, have further challenged the cost of the NHS.
What is strangling the NHS is Britain’s burgeoning immigrant population. Not only has the population grown by eight million since 1980 but one in seven UK residents was not born in the country. NHI in South Africa faces the same overload due to increasing unemployment and the influx of foreigners which has capsized clinic and hospital budgets.
NHI would expand South Africa’s already bloated bureaucracy by further cadre deployment. In any case, the existing state-run hospital system is in no condition to bear the NHI burden.
In the UK, the NHS is advising patients to consider private health care if they can afford it, given the protracted waiting periods for NHS treatments. Since March 2020, face-to-face appointments with doctors have been suspended. “Phone appointments,” are often how consultation takes place. As most readers are aware, phoning any government department is like phoning Mars: at best, you get passed from pillar to post.
“Free medication” costs under the UK’s NHI have gone up 26% which means that for those on chronic medicine, they have to pay that levy out of their own pockets. Surveys show that many taxpayers in the UK believe that their tax contributions to the NHS would be more worthwhile if allocated to private health care.
The late satirist, PJ O’Rourke, summed up national health care very aptly when he said: “If you think health care is expensive now, wait till you see what it will cost when it is free.” NHI is unaffordable, impractical and ideologically ruinous.