National Health Insurance (NHI) is critical to creating a quality functioning healthcare system for all South Africans and it is good to see that Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s Budget Speech covered areas such as increased funding for certain diseases and improved service delivery in the public sector.
Healthcare in South Africa can only work if the public and private sectors work in partnership – not one at the expense of the other. That is according to Damian McHugh, head of marketing at Momentum’s health solutions.
“By strengthening public health delivery, and with the private sector making sure that it is working towards a healthier South African healthcare sector by looking for opportunities to work with public entities, we can improve and safeguard the health of all South Africans,” says McHugh.
Mboweni unveiled several changes intended to improve the public health system and address funding for initiatives like the NHI.
Motsoaledi het Dinsdag op ’n mediakonferensie waar ’n verslag oor die beraadslaging op ’n spitsberaad oor die krisis in die gesondheidsorgsektor uitgereik is, nie die vraag beantwoord oor of die kabinet die NGV-wetsontwerp al goedgekeur het nie.
Wag en wees geduldig, was dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, minister van gesondheid, se antwoord op ’n vraag oor hoe ver die wetsontwerp oor nasionale gesondheidsversekering (NGV) van klaar is voordat dit in die parlement ter tafel gelê word.
Hy het ook te kenne gegee die oponthoud met die markondersoek na die private gesondheidsbedryf hou tans die wysigingswetsontwerp oor die Wet op Mediese Fondse terug.
“Die benadering was nog altyd wanneer alles klaar is, gaan dit parlement toe en dan word ’n aankondiging gemaak. Dis hoe dit met alle wetsontwerpe is. Ek verstaan nie hoekom dit nou anders moet wees nie,” het Motsoaledi gesê.
Popo Maja, sy woordvoerder, het in Desember bevestig dat die wetsontwerp aan die kabin Continue reading…
National Health Insurance (NHI), which the government is pushing as the solution to SA’s health crisis, could lead to the loss of up to 132,000 jobs, according to the country’s private hospital groups.
NHI, spearheaded by health minister Aaron Motsoaledi, is the government’s policy for introducing universal health coverage and aims to ensure everyone has access to healthcare that is free at the point of service.
The Hospital Association of SA (Hasa), which represents the private hospital sector, was among the industry groups that presented their views on the risks to the economy at last week’s Business Unity SA (Busa) meeting.
The gathering brought together business and government leaders, who have been trying to forge a closer relationship under the auspices of the Public Private Growth Initiative spearheaded by former politician Roelf Meyer and Toyota Europe and Africa CEO Johan van Zyl.
The psychiatric profession should play a greater role in advocating for patients’ rights and improving management of mental health in the public sector after a series of recent tragedies that highlighted the neglect of mental healthcare in South Africa.
Professor Bonga Chiliza, incoming South African Society of Psychiatrists (Sasop) president, says the deaths of 144 patients in the now-notorious Life Esidimeni tragedy; allegations of abuse and human rights violations at the Tower Psychiatric Hospital in the Eastern Cape; and the suicide of UCT Health Sciences Dean Prof Bongani Mayosi following his battle with depression all point to need for better management of public sector psychiatry
Therefore, the organisation will ramp up its lobbying for mental healthcare to be allocated an equitable share of the national health budget. Chiliza says Sasop would also be doing more to encourage medical students to specialise in psychiatry, in order to grow the numbers of qual Continue reading…
The NHI was the centre of the presidential health summit. Now the pressure is mounting for Treasury to figure out how to fund it.
The health system is in crisis, government officials admit. Now, they have just weeks to produce an initial plan on how to fix it ahead of introducing a National Health Insurance (NHI), Deputy President David Mabuza revealed this weekend.
With its namesake, President Cyril Ramaphosa was absent from the presidential health summit. The gathering drew more than 100 representatives from civil society, government, unions, academia and the private sector. Prior to the event, that was held in Boksburg, each delegate received a 21-page concept note outlining challenges within the health system — this included corruption and how the NHI will incorporate the private sector.
Solutions proposed during the meeting will now form the basis for wider consultation ahead of a public plan to turn the health system. Continue reading…
Globally, one in four private healthcare groups surveyed won’t work with governments. Whether the National Health Insurance (NHI) succeeds or fails will depend on public-private partnerships. But the scheme will have to overcome more than just money woes to get the two sectors to settle old quarrels if new research is any indication.
Under the NHI, a centralised fund will procure a package of services from both the public and private sectors on behalf of South Africans. But it’s unclear how this will work and South Africa isn’t the only country trying to figure this out. Countries such as Indonesia, Egypt and Kenya are also looking to buy services from the private sector as part of the move towards universal healthcare.
But a recent survey of 20 of the world’s biggest private healthcare providers showed many remain wary of working with governments. Collectively, these companies owned 500 hospitals and 7 000 clinics across 40 low- and middle-income coun Continue reading…
The civil rights organisation AfriForum today expressed concern regarding the huge number of medical legal claims against provincial health departments.
Rapport yesterday reported that Kimi Makwetu, the Auditor General, concluded that these claims are much more in seven of the country’s provinces than the various departments’ industry budget for 2018/2019 and subsequently contain large risks for service delivery.
Dr Eugene Brink, AfriForum Spokesperson for health related matters, says these facts are extremely concerning. “These claims weren’t taken into consideration when the budget was compiled and successful claims will thus have to be paid from money that was intended for services. However, it is not only simply the number of negligence claims that is a matter of concern, but also huge amounts of irregular expenditure.
AfriForum recently particularly submitted criminal charges in all the provinces regarding this type of expenditure that amounted t Continue reading…
The South African government has committed to upgrading and maintaining the ageing and dilapidated infrastructure at public healthcare facilities.
Speaking at the two-day Presidential Health Summit held in Boksburg, Deputy President David Mabuza said it was agreed that in the context of fiscal constraints, provinces will be expected to prioritise their financial resource allocations in a manner that ensures that the delivery of healthcare is not compromised.
“More importantly, this summit pointed out that we need to develop a sustainable financing model for our health system. We will commence with this task immediately.
“National Treasury will be seized with this task to ensure that this model is finalised within a short space of time.”
“We will seek to draw on this compact as we fast-track the licensing of all health facilities in readiness for implementation of the NHI. It has drawn together a remarkable cross section of South Africans – and many Continue reading…
Many private hospitals will be opening their doors to more patients but does that mean you’ll be stuck at the back of the queue?
The United Kingdom’s universal healthcare system, known as the National Health Service (NHS), had a problem: By the early 2000s, a growing number of elderly patients were waiting up to three years for sight-saving cataract services in the early 2000s.
But the government-funded healthcare scheme didn’t have enough beds. It did, however, have plenty of parking.
“All we needed was a parking lot and a connection to three-phase electricity,” remembers South Africa’s Netcare CEO Richard Friedland.
Netcare entered the UK market fifteen years ago. It operates more than 50 private hospitals in the country, but 43% of its patients come from the NHS through the service’s electronic “choose and book” appointment system: Patients elect where to go for care, and the NHS pays private providers like Netcare a nationally-set rate Continue reading…
South Africa can’t wait for the final National Health Insurance (NHI) system in 2026 to start delivering on universal health coverage, but needs to start implementing projects and programmes that will make a real difference in people’s lives now. And this can’t be done without cooperation between the public and private health sectors.
This was the overarching message in a high-level panel discussion of chief executives from the private healthcare sector at the Hospital Association of South Africa (Hasa) conference currently underway at the Cape Town International Centre.
White paper is not enough
“NHI, in principle is the right thing to do, but implementation is the key,” said Vishal Brijlal, National Department of Health (DoH) advisor on NHI. “We have a white paper, but that is not enough. The policy needs to be followed by planning, implementation, and cooperation.
“We can’t just wake up on 1 April 2026 and hope by some miracle that NHI will be Continue reading…
1. Will you be able to say “thanks, but no thanks”? If the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill is passed in its current form, the NHI will be compulsory, regardless of whether you also belong to a private medical aid. So, opting out won’t be possible. The Bill says the NHI, which will be like a big, state-funded medical scheme, will be a free service, but it doesn’t tell us what benefits will be covered, how the scheme will be paid for or how much it will cost.
2. When will the NHI start, and, will it actually happen?
The NHI Bill says the scheme will be implemented in three phases — we’re currently in the second phase (2017 – 2022), during which NHI legislation has to be developed and the NHI fund has to be established. During the last phase, from 2022 – 2026, Cabinet has to approve “the mobilisation of additional resources” so that the NHI can start to buy healthcare services from both public and private providers Continue reading…
The two fundamental issues with the new white paper on National Health Insurance (NHI) are a single payer fund and the nationalisation of private healthcare without compensation.
Single payer fund
In terms of the single payer fund, the white paper believes that the NHI can use bulk purchasing power to drive down the price of healthcare services. However, it then simultaneously declares that it will accredit medical service providers – public and private – and then set the prices at which they can sell their services to the NHI. It specifically states that it will deploy a “uniform reimbursement strategy” and that accredited service providers will not be allowed to deviate from that.
This raises a fundamental question. If the NHI is going to regulate the price at which the services are being procured, why does it need to use the bulk purchasing power of a single fund to reduce prices?
The latest iteration of the National Health Insurance (NHI) policy paper is no closer to defining how much the scheme will cost and where the money will come from to pay for it.
Meanwhile, SA risks running out of tax payers to finance its social security commitments, said Dr Johann Serfontein, senior healthcare consultant with HealthMan and Jasson Urbach, director & head of the Free Market Foundation’s Health Policy Unit.
The NHI scheme is based on a government administered, centrally controlled, single-payer model. Healthcare decisions will be determined by government from the cradle to the grave. NHI will reduce the number of available services, mean fewer healthcare providers and patients will face long waiting lists. NHI concentrates power in the hands of government and requires it to act as both player and referee, leaving no room for the private sector. Under NHI, whether directly or indirectly, government will control the availability, financing and Continue reading…