44 million South Africans registered on Electronic Health Patient Registration, says Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers the State of the Nation Address before a joint sitting of the two houses of Parliament. Picture: Phando Jikelo / African News Agency (ANA)

Pretoria - More than 44 million have already been registered in the Electronic Health Patient Registration System registration following patient information collected from over 3000 clinics across the country.

President Cyril Ramaphosa made these revelations during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) amid plans by the EFF led by Julius Malema to disrupt his address.

Ramaphosa said the fundamental condition for growth and development is a healthy and productive population, with access to quality, affordable health care.

He said his government has noted the enthusiastic support from South Africans during public hearings on the National Health Insurance (NHI), saying government was putting in place mechanisms for its implementation following the conclusion of the Parliamentary process.

“In preparation for NHI, we have already registered more than 44 million people at over 3,000 clinics in the electronic Health Patient Registration System, and are now implementing this system in hospitals,” Ramaphosa said.

The president’s remarks that the country was ready for NHI came amid objections from AFriForum. The civil rights organisation this week asked for an urgent meeting with Health Minister Zweli Mkhize saying the purpose of the meeting was to highlight their concerns regarding government’s planned NHI scheme.

AfriForum said one of their concerns include that the implementation of NHI “could lead to the downgrade of the country’s investment status to junk”.

Natasha Venter, AfriForum spokesperson on NHI, said they had more than 235 000 members. This showed, she said, that they had substantial interest in policies such as NHI.

“The civil rights organisation has been campaigning against NHI ever since the government first announced its NHI plan in order to properly inform people of the potential potholes that it contains. 

“The problem with one health system for everyone is furthermore that only 8,3% of people (taxpayers) will be expected to pay for the entire country’s health care. The Department of Health is year after year one of the departments with the poorest audits and the taxpayer cannot afford a tax increase to merely fund yet another government policy (that is doomed to fail),” Venter said.

Ramaphosa also revealed that he had established the Presidential Working Group on Disability, to advise his office on measures to advance the empowerment of persons with disabilities as government plans, budgets and implements programmes.

Political Bureau