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Mediclinic News : Praise for state's health insurance scheme

Title

Praise for state's health insurance scheme

Date

2016-06-29

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News Description

PRETORIA NEWS There is no way one can argue that the private healthcare system is stable, in fact, it's on the brink of collapse. So said Humphrey Zokufa, managing director of the Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF), in a joint briefing with Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi to express their support for the government's plan for universal health coverage for South African citizens through the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHI). "People are paying contributions to their medical schemes that are higher than inflation, they have to also pay co-payments and their benefits are shrinking.” People on medical aids are not necessarily happy. Medical aids too are bleeding, showing high deficits. "The pool of insured people is not increasing and those who are insuring are ageing and getting sicker" The briefing followed an opinion piece by Motsoaledi, published in the Sunday Times, in which he said the briefing was to clarify the "scare-tactics" people were being "misled" by when it came to the narrative coming out in discussions and debates over the NHI. Zokufa said as healthcare funders - a representative body of the healthcare funding industry representing over 80% of the country's schemes and 60% of scheme administrators - they were "encouraged" by the minister's clarified stance, adding that through the power of "pooling" all people could be insured. He questioned the motives of the NHI detractors. `Are they basing their comments on self-interest? "Are they really interested in providing healthcare for all South Africans? "Pooling in the private sector is already happening... in 2005 we had more than 200 medical schemes and that number has since dropped to just over 80 because of mergers and the realisation that Praise for state's health insurance scheme there is power in pooling," said Motsoaledi. "We're not sure why certain people say the White Paper lacks detail when the detail will come through engagements... "The government is being democratic and inviting people to participate and make submissions so as to put in the detail." The minister said the debate around the NHI was skewed and needed to be placed on the "right footing". "The UN has adopted universal health coverage and all countries under the UN have signed for that. Universal access to quality healthcare for all is nothing new... when I listen to various critiques of the NHI, no one is against it per se, but there is always a big 'but' when saying it's a good system for all (instead) of a select few We don't accept that." Motsoaledi explained how through pooling certain healthcare costs were curtailed. Antiretroviral treatment which in 2002 cost about R10 000 now costs just over R1 000 through pooling, he said.
Created at 2016/07/06 10:49 AM by Mediclinic
Last modified at 2016/07/06 10:49 AM by Mediclinic