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Mediclinic News : COLLABORATION NEEDED OVER COFI BILL

Title

COLLABORATION NEEDED OVER COFI BILL

Date

2019-04-10

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News Description

DAILY NEWS Those involved in the healthcare sector have long advocated for a single regulator, believing the current dual regulatory framework creates regulatory arbitrage not conducive to offering the consumer maximum protection. As part of the submission to the Competition Commission's Inquiry into Private Health and the Department of Health's National Health Insurance NHI Bill, the Financial Intermediaries Association strongly advocated for the end of dual regulation. The public and private healthcare sectors need to work together for South Africa to achieve universal healthcare. The same applies to our government departments and regulators. A silo approach to these complex issues will serve only to detract from the process and delay progress. The dual regulation of participants in the medical scheme industry is not ideal, and in some areas creates conflict. The Conduct of Financial Institutions Cofi Bill, aimed at regulating how the financial services industry treats its customers, was published by the Minister of Finance in December for public comment until April 1. The bill advocates removing core regulatory functions from the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) and placing them with the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA). Medical schemes are a form of insurance – even the CMS acknowledges this in their submission on the Cofi Bill. Greater alignment is in the interests of the industry. Because of the varied nature of insurance products, including health insurance products, the FSCA has had to develop a depth of skill to regulate this dynamic industry. If we had appreciated this fact, and allowed the best suited government entity to spearhead our NHI efforts, we would have made far more progress. It is also clear that the FSCA's ability to regulate the market conduct of financial institutions is more advanced. In fact, the CMS already refers compliance relating to conduct to the FSCA. Through related legislation, such as the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, the FSCA has proved that it is far more capable of managing possible conflicts of interest in the provision of independent advice to consumers. The Cofi Bill approach is refreshing in that it sets out the specific intention of the law, rather than the rules for compliance. If we appreciate the efforts of the Competition Commission's Inquiry into Private Healthcare, we must welcome efforts that support and facilitate better competition and innovation. Furthermore, the Cofi Bill aims to promote financial inclusion and transformation, particularly that of emerging black owned financial institutions. Butsi Tladi is the managing director of Alexander Forbes Health.
Created at 2019/04/16 09:04 AM by Mediclinic
Last modified at 2019/04/16 09:04 AM by Mediclinic