June 09, 2009 Edition 1
Using taxation to fund the government’s national health plan was “only a possibility”, the Department of Health said yesterday.
“Taxation is one of the possibilities, but it does not forego other possibilities,” said health spokesman Fidel Radebe.
Earlier in the day, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi told the SABC that funding for the National Health Insurance (NHI) programme could come from taxation.
“Those of us who earn better pay more tax. All government functions work like that. I don’t know another and I don’t know why they must exclude this particular one,” said Motsoaledi.
“What the minister said is correct, that’s one of the possibilities,” said Radebe.
He did not know what the other possibilities were, nor could he provide details of a preliminary report on the NHI due to be released tomorrow.
The Democratic Alliance has criticised what it calls a lack of “public and transparent discussion” on the matter.
“As things stand, it appears that the ANC is trying to force through its implementation by avoiding public debate,” said DA health spokesman Mike Waters. – Sapa