The National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill has not even passed through all the Parliamentary processes yet, and already health professionals are seeking opportunities abroad.
According to media reports, there have been around 17 000 emigration enquiries since January this year, particularly from doctors and nurses seeking to make the most of Canada’s Express Entry system that classifies healthcare workers as an essential service.
And this is just one country. Doubtless, many other medical experts are also exploring a move overseas.
High on their list would surely be countries with excellent health care records, where facilities are maintained and upgraded and not a danger to the health of staff and patients, where corruption and mismanagement is not the order of the day, where medicine stock-outs and supply shortages are not regular occurrences, and where equipment and ICT infrastructure works. They would move to countries that appreciate their vital skills and expert opinions, where they aren’t overworked because crucial posts are never filled, and where load shedding isn’t an ever-looming threat.
No matter how much the ANC government argues the contrary, their actions have revealed the truth: the NHI Bill is nothing but an electioneering tool that will be pushed through Parliament no matter the devastation it will cause.
If the ANC government really cared about the more than 51 million people forced to rely on the public health sector, they would address the systemic failures that riddle the sector and employ consequence management to root out each and every corrupt and inept official. Instead, they are forcing through a Bill that will decimate an already buckling system and create even more opportunities for corruption to thrive.
By Michele Clarke MP – DA Shadow Minister of Health