- The implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) will leave medical aid companies scrambling
- This comes after the Health Professions Council (HPCSA) called on the companies to hand over their reserves and assets
- Also according to the council, medical aids can function as supplementary health insurance and can provide services not covered by the NHI
The Health Professions Council (HPCSA) has said that South Africa’s new National Health Insurance (NHI) should be the only funding for health in the country. The council has called on the laws of the country to be changed to reflect that.
Speaking to Parliament earlier this week, HPCSA president Professor Simon Nemutandani said that although private medical aid schemes can continue to exist, they are to be funded separately.
The NHI should be funded through taxes paid by all employed South Africans.
The council believes that the NHI will succeed only if the Constitution is amended to mitigate exclusive national competence.
“The Medical Schemes Act must also be amended to ensure alignment with the NHI."
Nemutandani said that the NHI Bill must repeal the Medical Schemes Act in its entirety. Those who want additional insurance for health cover would then apply for cover under the Insurance Act. In essence, medical schemes would be covering services that are not covered by the NHI.
The HPCSA president called for all the current reserves of medical schemes and all other assets under their control to be transferred to the NHI. Medical scheme reserves in South Africa are estimated to be more than R90 billion.
Meanwhile, Briefly News previously reported that the South African Medical Association (SAMA) believes that the government is not ready to implement the NHI Bill. They believe that the system is open to corruption.
According to 702 Live, the SAMA spokesperson, Dr Mvuyisi Mzukwa, said that the current format of NHI has the potential for a lot of corruption.
Furthermore, the association has found that almost 20 000 doctors will emigrate if the bill is implemented. He added that many doctors are changing career paths due to the instability of the health sector.
Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize said he believes the NHI will improve the quality of healthcare in South Africa.
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