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Mediclinic News : 'Let people speak up on NHI!'


'Let people speak up on NHI!'




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THE NEW AGE Interested parties keen to comment on the national Health Department's White Paper on the implementation of National Health Insurance are welcome to do so, the health department said. The move was welcomed by the Free Market Foundation (FMF). In December last year, the department published its latest policy proposals on the planned NHI which has caused a stir in the public domain on how the government planned to fund the new health system. The issues raised around the pol-icy included the funding model, and whether other mechanisms could be used to source funding in addition to funding drawn from the fiscus. According to the FMF, the White Paper in its present form does not explain how South Africa, which is a relatively poor country, will succeed in providing equitable healthcare to all its citizens through the envisaged NHI system when even wealthy countries continued to struggle with such a scheme. "When you add to increased costs, antiquated infrastructure and an aging population, it is seriously doubtful whether the government is justified in wanting to introduce a single-payer NHI-style system. "New investment in the health sector is an essential priority given the potential crisis, but the government has a poor track record in investing and maintaining public sector infrastructure. "It is therefore reasonable to assume that new investment will not be forth-coming in the future," the FMF said in its submission. In addition, the FMF said that it was essential for the private sector to continue to play a significant role in South Africa's healthcare. This, the FMF said, was without saying that the legislation which impacted this sector would directly affect the private provision of healthcare. Director Jasson Urbach said: "South Africans will lose their world-class private health care firms if the government's health-care plans continue in the direction of nationalisation. Individuals' freedom to choose their own health care, which is such a vital and personal service, will be severely curtailed under the proposed system. "If the government views 'healthcare for all' to be politically essential, it could require the population to privately and individually purchase mandatory cover to insure against catastrophic health-related events but otherwise leave people to provide for their own and their families' medical-related and other needs," Urbach said. Urbach said that instead of the government undertaking the management of taxpayer-provided funds intended for covering the medical costs of the poor itself, it should put the task out to tender. "In the same way as people have many options to choose from in household insurance, car insurance and myriad other products and services, publicly-funded patients will then have a multiplicity of medical schemes to choose from. "Competition between public hospitals and clinics and with private facilities, to win business from taxpayer-funded public health insurance beneficiaries, will thrive and ensure that the best service for the best price is given," he said. According to the FMF, the government's "laying the foundations for NHI" before the merits of the proposed sys-tem have been adequately discussed was "putting the cart before the horse and would come at a great cost for every person in South Africa whether they are rich or poor", Urbach said.
Created at 2016/06/06 11:50 AM by Mediclinic
Last modified at 2016/06/06 11:50 AM by Mediclinic