6 April 2019

Medical schemes regulator slams the Treasury over bill

Business Day 03 April 2019 - Draft Conduct of Financial Institutions Bill removes its core functions, council says, claiming it was not consulted over move.

The medical schemes regulator has criticised the Treasury for failing to consult it on the draft Conduct of Financial Institutions Bill, saying it will render it a lame duck if passed in its current form.  For the article click here

Medical schemes regulator considers umbrella fund

Business Day 02 April 2019 - Proposition is for small restricted schemes to pool resources for more affordable membership

The Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) is considering introducing an umbrella fund to help small restricted schemes pool their resources to try and make membership more affordable. It is one of several measures being explored by the regulator in response to the government’s policy on National Health Insurance, which advocates industry consolidation. For the article click here

Council knocks Keyhealth over refusal to pay for PMB condition

Business Day 04 April 2019 - Medical scheme denies prescribed minimum

The Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) says it’s “concerning” that Keyhealth medical scheme denied a member prescribed minimum benefits (PMBs) for an overactive thyroid on the basis that she needed to develop a “thyroid storm”, which is a medical emergency, before she could qualify for PMBs. For the article click here.

SAHPRA grants first cannabis cultivation licences

Medical Brief 03 April 2019 – The SA medicines’ regulator has awarded its first batch of licences for cultivating cannabis for medical purposes to local companies, reports Business Day. This paves the way for them to gain a foothold in an international industry projected to be worth $50bn in the next decade.

Local players need to comply with stringent regulations put in place by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) to capitalise on this rapidly growing market. These rules are intended to protect consumers and ensure that cannabis grown for medical purposes is not diverted to the black market. For the article click here

SAHRC says adverse report on Gauteng Health would be ‘a waste of time’

Medical Brief 03 April 2019 - The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has announced that it would not issue an “adverse” report on Gauteng Health after a probe into baby deaths, long waits for life-saving cancer treatment, overcrowding and critical staff shortages at hospitals.

The Times reports that the commission visited various hospitals in Gauteng during 2018 as part of its investigation into the department, including Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital and Steve Biko Academic Hospital following reports of cancer patients facing long waits for radiation treatment, and Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital and Thelle Moegerane Hospital after learning that babies had died of infections there. For the article click here.

NHI can now be referred to as ‘Ramaphosa-care’ — Motsoaledi

Medical Brief 03 April 2019 - Health minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi says the National Health Insurance may now be referred to as “Ramaphosa-care”, as the president is now in charge of the Bill which will see government rolling out universal healthcare across the country.

The Times reports that speaking from the ANC’s headquarters, Motsoaledi said the NHI was too big an issue to be dealt with alone by the minister of health. He said he had asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to take over the planning and the roll-out of the NHI because that would be the only way equal, universal healthcare in South Africa would be a reality. Since then, a war-room had been established in the presidency to finalise the bill for parliament to approve. For the article click here

Introducing the e-patient

Biz Community 04 April 2019 - Almost half the South African population has access to the internet, including 8-million Twitter users and 16-million Facebook users. This digital revolution has unlocked enormous opportunities for the creation of online communities for large-scale engagement around often complex topics like the management of health conditions.

Enter the e-patient. A term describing individuals who are proactive in their health and healthcare decisions. E-patients are people that use digital resources such as the web, smartphones or other wearables to educate themselves about their condition and navigate the health system to track and manage their health. “In the age of consumerism, many e-patients, in managing their health, exhibit behaviours similar to that of people who research reviews before making online purchases, although the concept of an e-patient goes beyond that,” says Vanessa Carter, a Stanford University Medicine X e-patient scholar. For the article click here. 

Did the Health Professions Council trade cash for qualifications?

Biz Community 5th April 2019 - The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is awaiting the president's go-ahead to investigate allegations that Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPSCA) employees may have taken bribes in exchange for medical registrations and board exam passes.

HPSCA ombud Munyadziwa Kwinda recently revealed the allegations while speaking at a symposium held by the Wits Students’ Bioethics Society. The head of SIU communications Nazreen Pandor confirmed that the unit has applied to the Office of the Presidency to begin investigating the beleaguered health regulator. Legislation requires the SIU to obtain this kind of approval via the department of justice for each inquiry it launches. For the article, click here

Publication date: 4/6/2019