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Mediclinic News : ‘Medical aids are a crime and an atrocity’

Title

‘Medical aids are a crime and an atrocity’

Date

2017-02-06

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News Description

CAPE TIMES Medical aid schemes are a “crime against humanity” and should be abolished because they cannot co-exist with the government’s proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme, according to Dr Kgosi Letlape. The president of the Health Professions’ Council of SA (HPCSA) was addressing academics and medical professionals at a discussion on whether the NHI White Paper met constitutional and human rights muster. He suggested private medical aids and the Medical Schemes Act should be abolished if the NHI is to provide universal healthcare access for all citizens. Letlape said there can be no national health if it is not for all of us. He said when you try and engage about NHI with the privileged they say: “Don’t touch my medical aid.” Letlape said Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi did not seem to have much support for the NHI and members of Parliament and judges also had an attitude of “don’t touch my medical aid”. However, he said, it was possible to provide universal healthcare, which was not a new concept, as the country had previously had one of the best healthcare systems in the world under apartheid. He said South African whites had health for all. By 1967 they had a system that could give somebody a heart transplant for no payment. At the point of service, there were no deductibles, the doctor was on a salary and everyone could access healthcare. But, Letlape said, when the Medical Schemes Act was created 50 years ago, the exodus of medical professionals from the public to the private sector began. He said there were between 3 000 and 4 000 medical professionals working for medical schemes who could be redistributed into the health system if schemes were abolished. Dr Mfowethu Zungu, deputy director general for macro policy, planning and NHI at the KwaZulu-Natal health department, said only 48 percent of expenditure on health was spent in the public sector, which serviced 87 percent of the population, while the balance was spent in the private sector which serviced medical aid members, who comprised about 13 percent of the population.
Created at 2017/02/16 03:02 PM by Mediclinic
Last modified at 2017/02/16 03:02 PM by Mediclinic