2 June 2019

NEWS ANALYSIS: National Health Insurance is Zweli Mkhize’s biggest challenge

Business Day 31 May 2019 – New health minister has to begin implementing the policy plan

The private health-care industry and civil society will be looking to newly appointed health minister Zweli Mkhize to provide clarity on where the government is going with its long-awaited National Health Insurance (NHI) policy, which made little tangible progress under his predecessor Aaron Motsoaledi. Mkhize (63) is a medical doctor with experience in public health and finance and is widely regarded as a good listener who gets things done, characteristics that critics say Motsoaledi lacked. For the article click here

Panic over cancer link to obesity

Sunday Independent 2 June 2019 – Cancer cases caused by obesity will double in the next two decades

This is the statistics that Britain’s National Health service suggests. NHS England predicts there will be 40 800 obesity-linked cancer cases every year by 2035, up from 22 800 in 2015. Chief executive of NHS England Simon Stevens said obesity was becoming the “new smoking” and warned the problem was set to get much worse. The American Society of Clinical Oncology congress – the biggest cancer meeting in the world – has set obesity as a “critical research priority.”

MEC’s finger on pulse of health care

Sunday Independent 2 June 2019 – Madoda Sambatha promises to revitalise North West’s service

North West MEC for Health has hit the ground running by moving quickly to deal with the department’s labour and service delivery issues that led to unrest and affected most of the province’s health facilities in 2018.

Politics & power: Why Zweli Mkhize may be a new dawn for health in SA — or not?

Mail&Guardian 31 May 2019 - Will Ramaphosa’s new health minister wield enough power to bring recalcitrant MECs to heel?

“The appointment of Mkhize is an important and unexpected development because he’s one of the ANC’s [former] top six [leadership], which suggests an unprecedented prioritisation of health,” says the social justice activist and former director of the public interest law organisation Section27, Mark Heywood. “Because of his seniority within the ANC and the perception that health is a lower down level of Cabinet responsibility, the announcement came as a surprise — it signifies the political prioritising of health.” For the article click here

Pregnant? Not on medical aid? You might be footing the bill to bring home baby

Mail&Guardian 30 May 2019 - Women may be paying the price for decades’ old concessions to the medical aid industry

Today, despite the government’s commitment to reducing maternal mortality, standard antenatal care still isn’t a PMB. However “antenatal and obstetric care necessitating hospitalisation, including delivery” is a PMB, according to the full list of PMBs stated on the Council for Medical Schemes website. For the article click here

Introducing the executives Cyril Ramaphosa has chosen to serve SA

Business Day 30 May 2019 – There were some surprise additions and omissions when the president announced his new cabinet at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Wednesday night

Zweli Mkhize, 63, health minister - Zweli Mkhize is a trained medical doctor and has been around the political block. He is the ANC’s former treasurer-general, who initially threw his name into the hat for to become the ANC’s deputy president, but declined the nomination at the party’s elective conference in Nasrec in December 2017. For the article click here

Life Healthcare weighs up its business in Poland

Business Day 30 May 2019 - Private hospital group Life Healthcare is reviewing its Polish operations, which have been buffeted by steep tariff cuts from that country’s government.

Like its JSE-listed rivals Netcare and Mediclinic, Life Healthcare has sought offshore growth opportunities to counter the constraints facing its South African business but has had mixed success with its acquisitions. For the article click here

Local drugmakers lobby medicines regulator to prioritise their goods

Business Day 28 May 2019 - SA Health Products Regulatory Authority faces a huge backlog of applications from pharmaceutical manufacturers hoping to register new products

Local drug manufacturers are lobbying SA’s medicines regulator to prioritise their products, arguing that this would boost investment in the sector and make domestic firms more attractive to potential international partners. For the article click here

Court of Appeal swayed by surgeon’s detailed med scheme notes

Medical Brief 29 May 2019 - North West surgeon Dr Samuel Smith’s detailed motivation to a patient’s medical scheme  for keyhole surgery instead of riskier open surgery finally, after two years of litigation, tipped the legal scales in his favour.

The Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed a negligence claim that there had not been informed consent and that Smith had not explained the risks of the procedure. For the article click here

Momentum claims show alarming rise in cancer among young SA women

Medical Brief 29 May 2019 - An alarming number of young women are being diagnosed with cancer. 

The Times reports that this is if one major life insurer’s claims statistics are anything to go by. Among under-40s, twice as many women as men are being diagnosed with cancer, it was revealed by Momentum Life at its 2018 claims statistics media briefing. For the article click here

Publication date: 6/2/2019