19 Apri 2013
Government rejects any form of criticism that implies Ministers should not enjoy their democratic right to choose whether or not to receive treatment from a public healthcare facility. South Africans are reminded that every citizen has a democratic right to freedom of choice, which also includes the choice of going either to a public or private healthcare facility.
Acting GCIS CEO, Phumla Williams stated, “Every South African, irrespective of the office they hold, is entitled to receive healthcare at a facility of their choice. This does not make Ministers’ or public servants unpatriotic; it simply means that they are enjoying the rewards of being citizens in a democratic country.”
Williams added, “It is also important to remember that Government is on the brink of implementing the National Health Insurance (NHI). Major changes have already taken place at hospitals and clinics, and the NHI is another revolutionary step that Government has taken which is based on the principles of social solidarity, equity and fairness.”
In preparation for the NHI, the Department of Health has made great strides in key areas and initiatives for its successful implementation. Government's priority is to improve the health status of the entire population and contribute to the vision of a long and healthy life for all South Africans. To accomplish this vision, government has identified strategic outputs to strengthen the effectiveness of the health system.
These include amongst others, management reforms, hospital reimbursement reforms, establishment of the Office for Health Standards Compliance, undertaking of the national health facility audit, quality improvement and certification, and strengthening of district health authorities.
“We urge South Africans to focus and contribute to the implementation of the plans at hand. We should all work together to improve the system so that we can all continue to enjoy the fruits of a democratic and free country,” said Williams.
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Issued by Government Communication and Information System