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MEDBRIEF AFRICA The Health Market Inquiry’s (HMI) final report and recommendations on the private healthcare sector have been delayed to 31 March next year. Confirming the postponement of the report that was scheduled to be released today, Competition Commission spokesperson Lydia Molefe told MedBrief Africa that the formal notice of the extended deadline will be published in the Government Gazette today. According to the HMI Panel, the postponement will allow the inquiry sufficient time to review the 64 submissions received from stakeholders on its provisional findings and recommendations with the seriousness they deserve. Senior healthcare consultant at HealthMan, Dr Johann Serfontein says although the delay is disappointing, it is not unexpected. “It does provide insight that the various submissions made by stakeholders following the interim report are being robustly engaged with by the HMI. This is an important engagement step, which cannot be rushed through in any project of this nature,” Serfontein said. He however expressed concern that a similar robust consideration of stakeholder submissions is not being applied to submissions on the NHI. According to him, procedural issues, such as apparent non-consideration of stakeholder comments are likely to be raised in court at a later stage, as is currently happening in the land expropriation without compensation process. It was hoped that the HIMI’s final report would be taken into account in the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill that is expected to be presented to Cabinet next week. However, this doesn’t seem to have happened with Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi this week slamming media reports that changes were made to the version of the NHI Bill agreed on by him and former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene by a team led by presidential health advisor, Dr Olive Shisana. He was reacting to statements civil societies, including the Treatment Action Campaign and SECTION27, that the hundreds of submissions on the draft Bill released in June this year were not taken into consideration and that he was adamant to rush it through Parliament before next year’s general elections. Referring to a letter from Treasury to the Presidency that was leaked to the media earlier this month, expressing serious concerns about the alleged changes to the Bill, Motsoaledi blamed the criticism on “the enemies of the NHI that will do everything possible to cast serious aspersions on the credibility of the NHI process to stop it from becoming a reality”. Section 27 deputy director Umunyana Rugege told Business Day that although they welcome the HMI’s decision to delay the report to ensure extensive consideration of stakeholders’ submissions, there was a need to conclude the deliberations of the panel as expeditiously as possible in light of the speed of the processing of the NHI Bill. “As we have argued before, the two processes are linked and should influence each other in the interests of advancing access to healthcare in South Africa” she told Business Day.
Created at 2018/12/10 04:33 PM by Mediclinic
Last modified at 2018/12/10 04:33 PM by Mediclinic