Today, 12 December 2019 marks the International Universal Health Coverage Day and as SANAC Civil Society Forum (CSF) we join the people of the world to celebrate this day. This day is a clarion call for us to move from talk about National Health Insurance (NHI) to immediate implementation.
We reaffirm and support the 6 global Key Asks that our country represented by Minister Zweli Mkhize on behalf of the President at the UN High Level Meeting in September 2019 committed to. This promises made must be kept and we will be the watchdogs to ensure that this happens.
We keep the promise on this day because we agree with the asks made that represent our resolution from the UHC Consultation Meeting we hosted on 4 – 5 July 2019. The 6 key asks are:
- Uphold the quality of care
- Move together
- Regulate and legislate
- Leave no one behind
- Invest more and better
- Ensure political leadership beyond Health
- Underpinning these 6 key asks is a commitment to gender equality and women and girls rights accross all asks.
Representing the collective view of the 18 sectors of SANAC, we make the following undertaking as part of our celebration of this Universal Health Coverage Day:
“Universal Health Coverage in South Africa is about redirecting health financing and accountability through the National Health Insurance (NHI) to address community systems strengthening. The Ask is simple – invest more and better. The NHI is about crushing apartheid architecture of exclusion based on race, economic status and class into smithereens as the Constitution directs us to in terms of Section 27” says Mabalane Mfundisi, Executive Director of Show Me Your Number and Leader of the SANAC Sport, Arts & Culture Sector
“As a sector of the Traditional Health Practitioners in South Africa we join the international community, other sectors of SANAC and advocates for Universal Health Coverage in celebration of UHC day. NHI is a firm commitment by South Africa to ensure Universal Health Coverage is delivered which must result in health for all. We reaffirm the global UHC Ask that we must ALL move together for a healthier world” according Solly Nduku: General Secretary of NUPAATHPSA and Deputy Chairperson of SANAC Civil Society Forum
“Health is a fundamental human right and access to universal health guarantees the protection of this human right for all citizens. I believe our government can deliver on the NHI commitment as it will not only assist NDOH with realising the outcome of a “Long Life for all South Africans” but will ensure access to better health care for South Africans in both rural and urban settings. NHI is not only giving us hope better quality of health care pbut will restore the dignity of many South Africans who are currently violated by the ailing health care system” says Executive Director of PUPA and Eastrn Cape AIDS Council CSF Chairperson
“NHI is going to improve health and strengthen primary health care which will immensely benefit women especially those living with HIV and TB. NHI is the journey towards Universal Health Coverage. South Africa must lead in the commitment to gender equality and women and girls rights accross all UHC asks” as advocated by Thandi Maluka: Positive Women’s Network (PWN) and Leader in the PLHIV Sector
Universal Health Coverage is about social solidarity and that is what the NHI is about. We are clear that all South Africans must enjoy the right to healthcare and nothing and no one will change us from advocating this human right undertaking. We are buoyed by what the former WHO Director General and former Prime Minister of Norway, GRO Harlem Brundtland who said “Introducing and sustaining a publicly financed Universal Health Coverage system is simply good politics”. We are not afraid to be associated with the NHI because it is about good politics.
Issued for and on behalf of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) Civil Society Forum
For more information, contact: Mabalane Mfundisi