Plans by the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, to push ahead with the National Health Insurance (NHI), is an act of desperation. It is a decision doomed to failure from the outset.
The minister is completely out of touch with the crisis in the South African public health system, and this was highlighted by his denial of a crisis despite the damning report from the commissioner of the Office of Health Standards Compliance (OHSC).
Recent presentations to the Portfolio Committee on Health by each of the provinces, the OHSC and the Auditor-General, painted a picture of a health system that has collapsed entirely. It is beyond a crisis, it has simply failed.
DA visits to hospitals and clinics around the country have exposed medicine shortages, equipment shortages and a severe shortage of beds. In most hospitals visited, infrastructure is collapsing and lack of maintenance in facilities is painfully obvious.
In Limpopo alone there is a backlog of 26 000 su