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Health Dept hits back at foundation over NHI criticism

Healthcare consultants and specialists in the health funding industry have questioned whether the NHI bill will be a mechanism for corruption.

Picture: Refilwe Thobega/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Health Department has slammed the Free Market Foundation for criticising the National Health Insurance Bill and the Medical Schemes Amendment Bill, calling on the group to provide alternative workable solutions.

On Wednesday, the foundation criticised government for spreading what it calls incorrect information to get more support for the NHI.

Healthcare consultants and specialists in the health funding industry have questioned whether the NHI bill will be a mechanism for corruption.

But the deputy director-general for NHI, Anban Pillay, says that anyone who views that the bill will not work must submit reasons to the department.

"It can't be on an ideological basis, it has to be on a technical basis as to why any system that they propose would be better than the system we are proposing."

The timing of the Medical Schemes Amendment Bill has also been criticised but Pillay says there is nothing sinister.

Pillay says that the hype around the two bills has nothing to do with trying to get more support for next year's national elections.