A panel discussion on the contentious National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill, with which government aims to create a single fund to pay for services in both public and private health care, has highlighted a number of concerns and recommendations which have been submitted.
The annual Hospital Association of South Africa Conference (HASA), held in Cape Town, has heard that the country needs a National Health Insurance that will address inequalities, and gaps in the current system. But that the Bill, in its current form, which is before the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), needs critical amendments to make it workable.
HASA is the presentative body for the majority of private hospitals in South Africa.
“So what we are appealing for is for the NHI bill to make provision for collaboration between public and private so that this massive task of health reform can be something that we work on together,” says Professor, Roseanne Harris who represents Business for South Africa.
Better understanding of NHI: Dr Nicholas Crisp:
Convenor for the Progressive Health Forum, Dr Aslam Dasoo says the proposed NHI Bill is inappropriate in its current form. Dasoo explains:
“So we have put forward certain propositions around what government has proposed with regards to NHI which we think it’s completely an inappropriate way of reforming the health system. There was a very good health policy from 1997 which was carefully curated which was put forward and it was summarily discarded in 2009 and we were offered this empty box called NHI which is if you would shake it now it would be full of rattles because nothing in it fits.”
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