Top 10 reasons why National Health Insurance won’t work

December 14, 2021

The ANC government has come up with a pie-in-the-sky idea called NHI (National Health Insurance). Government wants to create a compulsory, giant medical scheme for all South Africans.

The idea of the government’s NHI is

  • every tax payer in South Africa pays an obligatory tax into the NHI system; and then
  • everyone in South Africa gets top-level, free health care from the cradle to the grave


It sounds fantastic. The trouble is, it will never work.

And here are the top 10 reasons why the NHI is just a dream.

Why NHI in South Africa will never get off the ground

  1. The government has proved itself incapable of running state-owned enterprises. Some of their failures include SA Airways and Eskom, the education system, the health system, government departments, provincial governments and municipalities. There are another 200 other state-owned enterprises that are failing. And yet the governments wants us to entrust them with billions of rands of fresh tax money. They want us to trust them to make the correct decisions about what operations we can have, what medication we should take and what the fund should pay to medical professionals. South Africans would not accept this.
  2. Corruption is wide and deep in the government. The billions of rand of NHI tax money would be stolen either from the bank accounts or by means of corrupt procurement methods and other theft. Everyone knows this, especially the criminals in government and politics who would do the stealing.
  3. Economists say that even if the system worked perfectly the, by 2025 the system would be R200 billion in the red.
  4. If the government hiked VAT to 20% to fund the NHI, there would be a nationwide tax revolt on all NHI in South Africa can and will never happenfronts by everyone from the poorest to the richest.
  5. The NHI tax of about 15% of the population (salary and wage earners) would have to supply health care to about 58 million other South Africans, for a start. Obviously this would not work.
  6. Medical schemes, the medical professions, NGOs and others will keep the government tied up in court for decades opposing this insane scheme. That alone will prevent its introduction.
  7. The public health system at present is in ruins. The vast amount of spending on public healthcare over the past 20 years has not helped one bit to increase the number of medical staff or improve infrastructure and procurement. Instead it has rapidly collapsed into a hell hole.  So it is impossible to argue throwing more money into the bottomless pit of inadequacy and theft would improve matters.
  8. Wherever communist-based systems are introduced they fail spectacularly. Britain’s NHI is an exception, although after 40 years of its existence it is finally running out of money and creaking badly, although Britain’s NHI is well-funded and Britain is largely a first-world country with high employment rates. Just don’t get in a queue for an operation in Britain (or socialist Canada). You may be dead by the time your turn comes.
  9. South Africa has no borders to the north of us. ANC government ministers constantly invite Africans to come to South Africa. Therefore the healthcare system would have to be ready to supply free healthcare to a potential 950 million more people. Not possible!
  10. Ultimately, an NHI for South Africa is simply an election slogan from a government that has let down the people. The NHI is a promise the ANC cannot keep. The ANC has made the populace  so poor and ignorant they will probably believe that NHI could happen and will vote for the ANC yet again. And for doing that they will get nothing, least of all good quality healthcare at no cost.


Solution: make sure you belong to a strong medical aid and sign up for gap cover to insure medical shortfalls.


All info was correct at time of publishing