Media Round-up: What They’re Saying About the NHI Bill’s Passing

Media Round-up: What They’re Saying About the NHI Bill’s Passing

So the National Health Insurance Bill has passed the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee and the National Assembly and is headed to the National Council of Provinces. There’s been quite a bit said about the Bill, the passing, and the partisanship surrounding the passing of the Bill. We thought we’d provide a round-up for you in one place. Our statement is here.

Ryan Noach, CEO at Discovery Health, says panic is unnecessary. Dr Crisp weighed in on the future of private medical aids and other matters. By the way, the National Assembly debate is here, from about 2h30 in.

eNCA spoke to a British journalist about the NHS, often cited as a model for the NHI, and we heard it isn’t all hunky-dory there. (Opens in Twitter).

There were also these stories:

And these:

NHI is 1000 years away. Government is blocking much-needed healthcare reforms, experts say;  ANC gets its ‘revolutionary’ NHI legislation adopted despite opposition criticism and likely litigation; and  South Africa pursues universal healthcare coverage in the face of headwinds

To summarise:

  1. The Bill is moving through the legislative process.
  2. There is significant political opposition, including from the official opposition.
  3. Medical representative organisations are warning there are significant red flags: SAMA, SAPPF, BHF, and Discovery Health.
  4. The Minister of Health believes the Bill is ‘revolutionary’ but accepts the NHI is not a silver bullet that will cure all healthcare issues.

We implicitly believe that the many substantial matters that require addressing need to be taken on board urgently. What we do now will liberate or encumber our children and their following generations. We owe them to move slowly, carefully, wisely and judiciously. Among the significant issues that the Bill and ensuing healthcare reform must face are:

  1. The concentration of risk in a single-payor fund, in an unstable economy, with our record of governance failings;
  2. The universally-held concern at the governance structures outlined in the Bill, particularly for the potential size of the enterprise;
  3. The unclear role of medical schemes, financing for the reforms, and generally, the role and place of private healthcare institutions.
  4. Signposts instead of set dates, through which the implementation of the NHI is implemented.

We acknowledge that many related initiatives are required to form a strong foundation for universal healthcare: for example, strengthening the public health system.

We look forward to the ongoing debate on these and the many other matters that must be clarified before any effective healthcare reform can successfully proceed.



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