The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) has urged healthcare practitioners to consult the council before signing any global fee or other financial or clinical arrangement with medical schemes, because these may violate the HPCSA’s ethical rules.
Since issuing a media statement in April warning against the practice, the council has been engaging with practitioners and different stakeholders since 16 May 2017 through roadshows held in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Bloemfontein and different meetings held with role players in global fee arrangements.
During the consultative process, the HPCSA has discovered that the alternative re-imbursement models are not limited to global fee arrangements and have advised its members not to enter into these contracts until all aspects relating to the law, ethics, clinical autonomy and funding mechanisms have been properly canvassed with all stakeholders
“While Council continues with a consultative process with the aim of providing a comprehensive guide to practitioners on alternative re-imbursement arrangements or models, practitioners are advised that until further guidance is provided, practitioners who are already involved in any form of alternative re-imbursement arrangements will be given ample and reasonable time to correct or amend any arrangements that are in contravention of the HPCSA’s ethical rules or to terminate such arrangements.
“Practitioners are advised to approach council for advice and guidance on Professionalpractice@hpcsa.co.za. Council commits itself to a turnaround time of 10 working days to respond to any request for guidance on global fees/alternative re-imbursement arrangement,” the HPCSA said in a statement.