SACP playing games with people’s lives

by Aug 16, 2009All Articles

Mike Waters
18 June 2009

DA MP says that if the NHI is a disaster Blade Nzimande won’t have to bear the consequences.

SACP must stop playing games with people’s lives. In an article in the SACP journal Umsebenzi yesterday SACP General Secretary, Blade Nzimande, labelled the DA and other critics of the proposed National Health Insurance plan as “capitalist vultures”. In the tradition of communist parties across time and across the world, the SACP wants the chance to play with people’s lives to implement a massive, uncosted and untested experiment. When this experiment goes wrong, it will not be the SACP secretariat that faces the consequences. Nzimande earns about R2.7 million a year in his two jobs and will not struggle to pay for health care wherever he can find it. Rather it will be the millions of poor South Africans who rely on the state.

The SACP’s declaration that it is acting in the interests of the poor in promoting the NHI is deeply hypocritical; it simply wants the chance to dive into the public purse, with no thought for the effects on the economy or for the people who have to bear the consequences.

South Africa does not need thousands more well-paid bureaucrats to run the proposed new NHI Authority. We need to make the system that we have work better by paying our doctors and nurses properly, by employing capable managers for hospitals and clinics, and by putting in place proper systems to monitor delivery and ensure accountability.

Nzimande uses money as the scapegoat for all the problems in the public health sector. He ignores completely the issues of mismanagement which are the direct responsibility of the ANC government, which he is part of. Only five out of 31 hospital managers in the Free State have the necessary qualifications to do their jobs. The solution is to put capable managers in place first, to make sure that more money goes to the right place, not pour more money into a system which is plagued by too many problems for this money to have an impact.

South Africa has limited opportunity to spend more money on social delivery. We must not fail the people who need the help of the state by spending beyond our budget on the reckless projects of an ANC/SACP elite.

Statement issued by Mike Waters MP, Democratic Alliance shadow minister for health, June 18 2009

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