The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) welcomes the signing into law the National Health Insurance (NHI) bill. The signing is indeed an historic moment, and it proves, once again, the ANC-led government’s commitment to improving the lives of all South African citizens and to fulfilling  its constitutional obligation as proclaimed in Section 27 of the Bill of Rights which declares  that everyone has a right to have access to health care services, including reproductive health care.

Health care is a basic human right and has for too long endured a system that has turned health care into a commodity where most of the population who are poor could not access quality health care. The NHI will ensure that South African access the full range of quality health care services whenever and wherever they need them irrespective of their socio-economic status.

The NHI will see to the creation of a public health fund with adequate resources to plan and meet the healthcare needs of the entire population and this will narrow the gap between the poor and rich in terms of healthcare.

The NHI will not only benefit the unemployed and poor but the working class as well. As a union with a membership that subscribe to medical aid,  a sizeable number cannot use medical aid until the end of the year as it gets exhausted  before the year ends, and they must pay from their pockets. The annual tariff increases cause a strain to their budgets,

We echo the Minister of Health’s call to all role players to work with government and become part of the solution and for health workers to commit and work towards ensuring that the NHI is a success.

We have no doubt that the NHI will go a long way towards ensuring a healthy nation.

ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat

CONTACT: General Secretary, Dr Mugwena Maluleke: 082 783 2968

                    Deputy General Secretary, Nkosana Dolopi: 082 709 5651

                    Secretariat Officer, Xolani Fakude: 071 355 1566

                    Media Officer, Nomusa Cembi: 082 719 5157