Welcome to the Doctors' Portal
00:00 Sunday
Mediclinic News : DON’T SHUT OUT THE PRIVATE SECTOR ON NHI, TREASURY OFFICIALS WARN

Title

DON’T SHUT OUT THE PRIVATE SECTOR ON NHI, TREASURY OFFICIALS WARN

Date

2020-01-27

Link

https://select.timeslive.co.za/business/2020-01-27-dont-shut-out-the-private-sector-on-nhi-treasury-officials-warn/

News Description

TIMESLIVE BUSINESSLIVE HERALD - PAGE 2 An analysis of the state’s progress towards universal health coverage, co-authored by several senior Treasury officials, has called on the government to work more closely with private healthcare providers in rolling out its proposed National Health Insurance (NHI). NHI is the biggest reform of the health system proposed by the government since the end of apartheid. It is aimed at eliminating deep inequalities between public and private health systems by providing care for all eligible patients free at the point of delivery. NHI has been high on the political agenda since 2007, but progress in implementing the policy has been slower than expected. The government has done little to draw in private sector providers. Parliament is processing its first bill. The review is contained in the latest edition of the yearly SA Health Review (SAHR) to be published by the nonprofit Health Systems Trust on Monday. Isolation The officials say that development of the NHI policy has been done almost in isolation from private providers, and consultation has largely been indirect through them submitting comments in response to policy papers. This has resulted in mistrust and confusion between private providers and government. The chapter has seven coauthors, including Treasury officials Mark Blecher, Wendy Fanoe and Jonatan Davén. They argue that in addition to forging closer ties with the private sector, the government could use its purchasing power to incentivise reform. These could include measures such as moving individual private GP practices into multidisciplinary group practices, or incentives to encourage private healthcare providers to operate in rural areas. At the same time, the private sector should be prepared to play a bigger role in servicing patients who are not members of medical schemes and consider dropping prices in exchange for higher patient volumes from the state sector. Road map The analysis pulls no punches, saying the government needs to spell out much more clearly how it intends to achieve the goals of the NHI White Paper released in 2017, and devise a road map with clear targets and timelines. The authors say there is anxiety among stakeholders as the government has not managed to effectively and coherently communicate what NHI means, what range of health services will be provided, what the financial contributions will be, how the quality of services will be ensured, and what the role of health providers and workers will be in public and private sectors. They identify four key challenges impeding progress on NHI, which include mistrust between the private sector and the state; the weak public health system; the lack of progress in building the technical capacity required to manage NHI; and the challenge of centralising funding in the face of the provincialised financing system, which sees the lion’s share of public health funding directed to provincial health departments. They also highlight the concern of medical scheme members, warning that compelling people to move en-masse to NHI by limiting what schemes can cover is likely to run into stiff opposition, and delay implementation by triggering protracted litigation and tax avoidance.
Created at 2020/02/03 09:03 AM by Mediclinic
Last modified at 2020/02/03 09:03 AM by Mediclinic