23 June 2019

 KZN has the most cardiac-related insurance claims

Times Live 19 June 2019 – KwaZulu-Natal tops the list when it comes to insurance claims for cardiovascular diseases.

Financial services group Liberty's claim statistics for 2018 revealed that the province had the most claims for cardiovascular diseases in SA, at 26%, while the Western Cape saw the highest percentage of claims paid for cancer, at 27%. Gauteng had most suicide-related claims at 39.4%. According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation SA's statistics, 225 South Africans are killed by heart disease every day, while 10 people suffer a stroke in SA every hour. For the article click here 

Doctor’s healthy prognosis for SA

Sunday Independent 23 June 2019 – Innovative Pharmaceutical Association South Africa (IPASA) chief executive Dr Konji Sebati says her life is on innovation.

Sebati, who works in close partnership with the national department of health, says relations are based on mutual trust. She sees the relationship with the department as part of the health value chain.

Cash-strapped middle classes cannot afford medical aid, warn

Business Day 21 June 2019 - A lack of affordability means people are joining schemes like Discovery at a much slower pace

Spiralling costs that are playing havoc with middle-class incomes amid a stagnant economy are driving people to reconsider whether they should be rejoining medical aid schemes, according to the country’s biggest medical insurer. "One of the difficulties right now is the lapse rate. Because of the state of the economy, people are dropping off a little bit quicker than they used to a few years ago," Discovery Health CEO Jonathan Broomberg said at the company’s 25th annual general meeting on Thursday. For the article click here 

Are umbrella medical funds the way forward?

BizCommunity 20 June 2019 - The Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) has proposed the amalgamation of smaller schemes, which fall below the legislated minimum threshold of 6,000 main members.

The most appealing of the consolidation methodologies considered by the CMS is the umbrella medical aid fund arrangement. These have successfully been implemented within the pension fund industry over the last 15 to 20 years. In my opinion, this is a very positive consideration, which would allow for risk pooling, benefit consolidation and cost reduction. If the proposed umbrella medical scheme format resembles the Government Employees Medical Scheme, this would bring about a significant reduction in governance requirements and associated management costs, offer members more options and benefits, and further the objectives set out in Section 322 of the NHI White paper released in 2017 For the article click here

What stresses doctors out?

Bizcommunity 20 June 2019 - Long hours and poor working conditions are negatively impacting the personal health of many South African healthcare professionals, according to the 2019 PPS Graduate Professional Index (GPI) results.

Up to 73% of respondents felt that a large number of medical professionals are depressed and suffering burnout, due to long hours (38%) and poor working conditions (23%). Meanwhile, 72% did not think that the National Health Insurance will improve the sustainability of the profession. When asked what can be done to improve the healthcare system in South Africa, 26% mentioned anti-corruption and better management of funds, and 12% suggested adequate staffing based on merit. For the article click here 

Africa needs to up its research game to fight non-communicable diseases

Bizcommunity 19 June 2019 - Non-communicable diseases are the current leading cause of death worldwide. And the burden is increasingly shifting from developed to developing countries.

But it’s only been over the last 20 years that the threat of non-communicable diseases has been taken seriously in developing countries. Noncommunicable – or chronic – diseases are those of long duration and generally slow progression. For the article click here 

Trust in vaccines is highest in poorer countries

Business Day 19 June 2019 - Trust in vaccines is highest in poorer countries but weaker in wealthier ones

France has the least confidence of any country in the world in the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, with a third believing that vaccines are unsafe, according to the study. While most parents do choose to vaccinate their children, varying levels of confidence expose vulnerabilities in some countries to potential disease outbreaks, the study’s authors said, recommending that scientists need to ensure people have access to robust information from those they trust. For the article click here

Future of SA private healthcare is looking ill, warns Icon Group

Business Day 19 June 2019 - Value-based healthcare will provide a much-needed shot in the arm, group's latest research shows

SPONSORED - SA's private healthcare sector is under pressure to reform and adopt alternative billing models while the traditional fee-for-service model is coming under pressure, says Icon Group COO Dr Ernst Marais. Says Marais: “The solution is VBC, which places the patient at the centre. For nearly a decade the Icon Group has advocated for the VBC model in local oncology. Our studies show that VBC reduces oncology costs by as much as 27% without compromising patient care and outcomes.”  For the article click here

Increase public health funding, civil society urges government

Business Day 18 June 2019 - Institute for Economic Justice and Section 27 say that despite high medical inflation and rising disease burden funding for health has been cut

Two civil society organisations have called on finance minister Tito Mboweni and new health minister Zweli Mkhize to increase public sector funding for health, arguing that the government’s goal of achieving “a long and healthy life for all” cannot be met with the available resources. In an open letter to the ministers released on Tuesday, the Institute for Economic Justice (IEJ) and Section 27 said the implementation of austerity budgets in the previous administration severely undermined the public health system and the viability of National Health Insurance (NHI). For the article click here 

Publication date: 6/24/2019