Thank you- [Applause.] Thank you, Chairperson. Chairperson, this is not a disease of Black people, this is not a disease of White people, therefore we urge all parties to equally participate, irrespective of race.
Minister, this is the first time, post-1994, that we have a pandemic that is threatening the world in a manner that Coronavirus is doing. We have made a commitment yesterday when the Commander-in-Chief and President of the EFF met the President of this country, that we are going to support all initiatives of government and we are going to do our part, through our membership and at the level of our
constituency, to make sure that our people are aware of what needs to happen.
After all, has been said and done, Minister, let us agree that Coronavirus showed up when we need to pay more attention to primary healthcare. Public healthcare should be about prevention.
Let us also agree that the experience of Coronavirus or rather the threat should be seen as an opportunity to repurpose our public healthcare to be more service- orientated rather than profit. We cannot continue to have a situation wherein few individuals are the ones who are fortunate enough to get medical attention at Netcare, Mediclinic, OneLife and other private hospitals in affluent areas while our people depend on public health which has completely collapsed.
When we are done dealing with Coronavirus, hon Minister, we are proposing the following, even in the context of NHI, if you continue with it in its current proposal which we
highly discourage. Let us have a programme in your department with a dedicated DDG that focuses on health education and health promotion. Do not wait on the EFF Private Member's Bill to amend the National Health Act for clinics to open 24 hours. This is the time, Minister.
Let us create polyclinics in every ward. It might sound unrealistic but if it is thoroughly planned and there is no looting, it is possible. In this way, we have some form of health service of all practitioners in every community and we can begin to focus on prevention and profiling communities so that we can educate more.
Chair, at this time of crisis, we are pleading with Minister: Do no wait for media to start asking too many questions. So far, the communication has been forward. Let us improve on it, and in that manner our communities will be comfortable knowing that government is treating this matter very seriously. This should include telling people statistics by gender, age and their locality. That will actually reduce this misinformation that this kind of
disease is only for white people. Thank you. [Interjections.] [Applause.]