MEDIA RELEASE: SANAC CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM SUPPORTS THE NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE (NHI)

The SANAC Civil Society Forum (CSF) welcomes the release of the NHI Bill and supports the objectives of the establishment of the NHI fund. Our submission TO THE NHI Bill is outlining our support and some changes we would like to see being included in the NHI Bill before it goes to Parliament for approval as a law of the Republic.

This Parliamentary process should not be delayed in order to satisfy private sector lobbyists. Parliamentarians serve at the behest of the people, and this Parliament should ensure that before its current term ends, it adopts the NHI Bill.

In preparing for the NHI Parliamentary process of public inputs and the Presidential Health Summit on 19 & 20 Oct 2018 which is linked to the NHI processes, we will be hosting a Preparatory High Level Meeting of the Civil Society Forum on 11 Oct 2018. This meeting will ensure that we crystalize our position as we advocate for more South Africans who depend on public health to receive quality and people-centred health services in line with Section 27 of the South African Constitution.

Our submission on the NHI, supported by our strategic linkages with COSATU[1] provides comprehensive assessment of the content of the NHI Bill and provided various proposals that strengthen the content of the current NHI Bill.

As SANAC Civil Society Forum, we have long called for implementation of universal health care system in South Africa. When the idea of the National Health Insurance (NHI) was introduced many years ago, we were very excited that our call for a universal health system will be realized. We didn’t know that many years later, we would still be talking, advocating and fighting for the NHI instead of seeing it being rolled-out. The delay was as a result of 2 stumbling blocks viz:

1. Private sector hell-bent maximizing profit by excluding the majority of South Africans, especially poor people from accessing health services through “stealing money meant for the public health system to subsidize private health system by sustaining apartheid era medical aid tax benefits. This has resulted in South Africa currently spending 8.5% of GDP on health care with the private sector spending 4.4% of GDP on health which benefits only 16% of the population.

2. Government kowtowing to the whims of the private sector and in the process failing in its duty to ensure that Section 27 of the Constitution is implemented, which simply enjoins government to provide quality health service to the population. This has resulted in South Africa currently spending 8.5% of GDP on health care with the public sector spending 4.1% of GDP on health care for 84% of the population.

The NHI is a platform to ensure the spirit and the letter of section 27 of the RSA Constitution and the Article 12 of the United Nations Convent on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966 are realized, where the private sector is happy or not happy. Transforming the South African society requires that we put people before profits.

SANAC Society Forum will continue to confront the highly racialised model of funding for the health in South Africa, as we are doing in terms of the HIV and TB response. We will continue fight against a system of funding that seeks to sustain an apartheid modus operandi that deepens inequalities along racial lines through patterns of development that restrict the lives of black South Africans. Communities must rise and confront Afro-pessimism agents, particularly those who have strategically placed themselves at the ‘centre’ of the health services on behalf of communities when in fact they are opponents of the values of the Constitution of South Africa and Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals – a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

The people, especially the African poor majority are most affected by HIV and TB, and they rely solely on the public health system for treatment. The NHI seeks to improve and support the public health system, and this will result in immense benefits for the people. With such an approach, we will see the people through their communities taking their place at the front, center and back of the their health needs, and by extension the response to end HIV and TB.

The SANAC CSF through this submission, we call for the redirection of health financing and accountability through the NHI to address community systems strengthening. This goes beyond the challenges confronted by the narrow bio-medical centred definition of health pursuing “absence of disease and infirmity” that is offered by current health systems (both public and private) through the administration of drugs, to the broader community capacity enhancement based definition of health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” At the centre of this approach is the NHI.

For more information and interviews, contact:

CONTACT PEOPLE

Steve Letsike
Chairperson
SANAC Civil Society Forum
010 100 3177
steve@ac2.org.za

Mabalane Mfundisi
SANAC Resource Mobilization Committee Co-Chairperson
SANAC Civil Society Forum
078 683 9535
mabalane@showmeyournumber.org.za

Dr. Matome Kganakga
SANAC Programme Implementation Committee Co-Chairperson
SANAC Civil Society Forum
083 417 2801
mkganakga@azali.org.za

ABOUT SANAC CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM
(SANAC CSF)

SANAC

The South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), chaired by the Deputy President ensures a robust response against HIV, TB and STI’s and focus on building a collective and coherent approach between Government, Civil Society and Business. SANAC has made an important contribution to combating and preventing HIV, TB and STIs in South Africa, and ensure that the national response is not fragmented, narrow and lacking in the diversity of stakeholders’ voices.

It was established as a voluntary advisory body and not as a juristic entity. The Government then established the SANAC Trust as the legal entity in 2002 to achieve the objectives of SANAC.

SANAC CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM

The SANAC Civil Society Forum (CSF) is a formal advisory body established in 2012 by the South African National AIDS Council to facilitate the participation of Civil Society Organisations and networks, including those representing People Living with HIV, in the HIV and AIDS and TB within the National HIV response and for the implementations thereof National Strategic Plan (NSP) 2012-2016 through Sectors.

The SANAC CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM exists with structures at the following levels:

National Level – National Civil Society Forum Ensures collective voice of civil society in the national response to HIV, TB and STIs through the SANAC Plenary and related committees and task teams Participates in the SANAC Plenary, represented by sector leaders and an elected leader amongst these sector leader as the National CSF Chairperson who Co-Chairs SANAC with the Deputy President
Provincial Level – Provincial Civil Society Forum Ensures collective voice of civil society in the national response to HIV, TB and STIs through the SANAC Plenary and related committees and task teams Participates in the Provincial Council on AIDS (PCA), represented by sector leaders and an elected leader amongst these sector leader as the National CSF Chairperson who Co-Chairs the PAC with the Premier
District/ Metro Level – District/ Metro Civil Society Forum Ensures collective voice of civil society in the national response to HIV, TB and STIs through the SANAC Plenary and related committees and task teams Participates in the Metro/ District AIDS Council (MAC/ DAC), represented by sector leaders and an elected leader amongst these sector leader as the National CSF Chairperson who Co-Chairs the PAC with the Executive Mayor
Local Level – Local Civil Society Forum Ensures collective voice of civil society in the national response to HIV, TB and STIs through the SANAC Plenary and related committees and task teams Local AIDS Council (LAC), represented by sector leaders and an elected leader amongst these sector leader as the National CSF Chairperson who Co-Chairs the PAC with the Executive Mayor

The SANAC CSF aims to promote an inclusive, competent and responsive civil society that effectively serves the needs of the people of the South African communities, by linking and diversifying civil society actors, expanding the sectors and communities where civil society contributes, improving civil society organisations’ operations, and enhancing connections between civil society organisations with their stakeholders and beneficiaries.

The CSF ensure that Civil Society Sectors (CSS) are equal, meaningful and visible partners at all levels.

The core objectives of Civil Society Forum and its structures are to provide leadership, co-ordinate, support provide political oversight and advocate for the development, monitoring and evaluation of the National Strategic Plan of HIV,TB and STI in order to reduce the personal, social and economic impacts’ of these diseases in the community.

CSF VISION

• A South Africa free from the burden of HIV, TB & STIs

CSF MISSION

• South Africa on track to eliminate HIV, TB & STIs as public health threats by 2030

CSF GOAL

• The goal of the CSF is to strengthen the CSS response to HIV, TB & STI and ensure that Civil Society effectively contribute to the attainment of the goals of the NSP during its 5-year period.

CSF OBJECTIVES

• Streamline & coordinate the CSS response and contribution to the NSP
• Monitor progress of the NSP implementation & hold SANAC constituencies accountable including CSS
• Create a platform for strategic information exchange to guide the CSS response and actions
• Support joint strategic thinking, build positions and advocate on key issues with the South African Government, Private Sector and other stakeholder
• Ensure that CSS perspectives, experiences and concerns of all CSS are collated and communicated through the relevant SANAC CSF, CSF Committees, structures and processes
• Ensure an inclusive and equitable allocation of resources to CSS to advance the multi-sectoral response

2017 – 2022 KEY RESULT AREAS FOR CSF TO IMPLEMENT IN LINE WITH THE NSP

In order to make a recognizable contribution to the attainment of the goals of the current five-year NSP, the SANAC Civil Society Sectors will focus on following 4 key result areas:

• KEY RESULT AREA 1:
o Strengthen CSF governance, management and coordination at national, provincial, district and local levels;

• KEY RESULT AREA 2:
o Ensure implementation of the 8 Goals of the National Strategic Plan on HIV, TB & STIs 2017 – 2022

• KEY RESULT AREA 3:
o Communicate and advocate the decisions and positions of the CSF though different platforms; and

• KEY RESULT AREA 4:
o Mobilize resources to support the implementation of the SANAC CSF decisions




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