We have over 33 medical aid institutions in this country. There is MASCA, CIMAS, and even the insurance companies that used to give life insurance have now moved to medical aid. However, the saddest part about it is that we have our own medical aid PSMAS and it is not accepted. Sometimes as you walk into the pharmacy or into the doctors’ rooms, there is a big sign “PSMAS not accepted”. So, if it is not accepted, in fact that institution should be closed down.
Mr. Speaker, if we allow organisations to make groupings which harm us, this is like cutting your nose to spite your face. I am saying this because it seems that a lot of issues happen and we have a lot of lives that are lost simply because no one will touch you because you do not have money. Now, the system that is there, where you have to use plastic money yet there are no machines there. The banks give you $100, whether you are a Member of Parliament, a Chief or whatever; it is $100 because law is law. Now, if I fall sick in the afternoon and I decide to go to the doctor and there is this big sign that you have to pay cash and you can claim it back yourself.
If I ask here, out of all the MPs or anyone working here in Parliament, how many people have not received their money back from medical aid, you will see how many hands will come up. It is just promises and promises, the money does not come. Many a times, I have gone to the accounts department and actually wrote a letter to say I would like to withdraw from medical aid because I am not getting a fair deal back. I am being short changed and I feel that if I am being short changed as an Hon. Member, who came in this august House with 18,000 or 30,000 people behind me and if I do not talk about it, what about the people who cannot talk. I feel it is unfair and I believe that the Minister should actually address this. If there is a problem in finance, they need to sort it out on their own without involving individuals.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I can speak the whole day and night and repeat but I would say, please if it is possible, can the Minister address this as a state of emergency because this is unacceptable and totally unacceptable even to the Hon. Members of this august House. I thank you.