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Mediclinic News : NHI struggles to take off

Title

NHI struggles to take off

Date

2016-11-02

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News Description

THE NEW AGE The sustainable improvement of South Africa's healthcare system including the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI), is being stalled by competing challenges including an increase in medical litigation. Opening the International Hospital Federation's World Hospital Congress in Durban yesterday, Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said it was appropriate that the conference was held under the theme "addressing the challenge of patient centred care and safety" as patient safety was a worldwide priority. He said in South Africa medicolegal litigation was not only draining resources away from clinical care, but driving specialists, such as obstetricians, away from certain specialist fields. "In Canada 23% of doctors have identified medicolegal litigation as their most stressful life experience and medicolegal concerns have been cited as the commonest reason to early retirement by obstetricians and anaesthetists." Motsoaledi said a ministerial advisory committee and a declaration signed after the recent MedicoLegal Summit will hopefully address the problem. "This declaration addresses the main areas of patient safety, administration and legal front to improve medicolegal litigation in South Africa," he said. Last year the KwaZuluNatal department of health coughed up more than R105m to settle claims brought against doctors and nurses around the province. "Colleagues and doctors get irritated and tempted to attack lawyers. I will strongly advise that we'd rather be inward looking and expend all our energies in fine tuning our systems so that the lawyers find nothing to scavenge on," he said. Motsoaledi said the increased life expectancy from 57 years in 2009 to 62 years in 2013, was an indication that the country had the capacity to implement NHI. The NHI is being piloted in 11 districts and it is hoped to improve service standards and administrative processes. "Public sector hospitals are still perceived to be disproportionately inefficient and slow in responding to national health priorities," he said. Motsoaledi said the NHI will ensure effective governance and performance of public hospitals is enhanced by increasing local decision-making and accountability. Cosatu has accused the minster of outsourcing NHI to "private interests". "The federation is angered to discover 170 doctors who are employed in the NHI programme will be unemployed by January because of retrenchments. These retrenchments are a clear sign the NHI is being sabotaged by the department of health," the federation said.
Created at 2016/11/09 04:28 PM by Mediclinic
Last modified at 2016/11/09 04:28 PM by Mediclinic