Pretoria High Court Throws Out Solidarity NHI Challenge

Pretoria – The Pretoria High Court has dismissed Trade Union Solidarity’s challenge to stop the government from implementing preparations to launch the National Health Insurance (NHI).

Solidarity had filed an urgent court application on 12 October 2022 to interdict the Department of Health from making appointments of competent technical specialists to assist with preparations for the functioning of the NHI Fund.

Reacting to Thursday’s court ruling, the department said it, “welcomes the judgment”.

Spokesperson Foster Mohale said the department “applauds the court for ruling in the best interest of more than 84% of the population who are without medical aids and rely on the public health system to receive health services”.

The department said the objective of the NHI was to provide universal access to quality and affordable health care for all South Africans, “irrespective of their socioeconomic status by ensuring that the use of health services does not result in financial hardship for individuals and their families”.

The dismissal of Solidarity’s challenge means the department can now fill the advertised 44 vacancies as part of efforts by the department to establish a fully functioning NHI Branch, while the legislative process on the NHI Bill was still underway.

In 2019, the union published a report – compiled from answers to questionnaires sent to healthcare practitioners in the private and public sectors across the country – which highlighted huge concerns about the proposed NHI.