28 July 2019

NHI pilot projects reveal deep problems

Business Day 28 July 2019 - Outreach teams didn’t meet their target of improving infant health and care for pregnant women because there were not enough paediatricians and gynaecologists

National Health Insurance (NHI) is coming, with the NHI Bill handed to parliament on Friday. But a detailed 200-page document on the 11 pilot projects makes for depressing reading. The report reveals that children identified as needing health care didn’t get it, there were incomplete infrastructure projects, and computers were sent to clinics without access to the internet. For the article click here

WATCH: Can the long-delayed health blueprint heal the sick system?

Business Day 26 July 2019 - Alex van den Heever from the Wits School of Governance talks to Business Day TV about the presidential health compact

Business Day TV sat down with Van den Heever to discuss the compact and whether it can solve the problems facing the country’s health-care system. Click here for the interview

NHI needs political will to succeed, says Zweli Mkhize

Business Day 26 July 2019 - After pilot studies on various interventions, the health minister also stresses the need for more collaboration between the numerous role-players

Mkhize addressed a media briefing on Friday where the findings and recommendations in the NHI pilot site evaluation report, commissioned by the department of health from Genesis Analytics, were released. Mkhize, whose biggest challenge will be the implementation of the NHI, addressed the recommendations made by the report. The  report is unambiguous on what worked in the pilot programme and what did not. Click here for the article

President’s blueprint for fixing public healthcare unveiled

Business Day 25 July 2019 - The presidential health compact was signed at George Mukhari Academic Hospital in Tshwane on Thursday by key stakeholders who attended the summit

It proposes implementing a national, centralised procurement system for medicines and medical equipment, and a new system for conducting health technology assessments, to gauge whether medicines and devices offer value for money. It also proposes allowing the private sector to train medical specialists, whose training is currently restricted to public hospitals. For the article click here

Discovery Health releases Best Hospitals in SA list

Medical Brief 24 July 2019 - Discovery Health has released its annual list of 20 leading South African hospitals as rated by patients through the Patient Survey Score (PaSS).

The Top 20 list is based on aggregated surveys completed by members of medical schemes administered by Discovery Health rating their in-hospital experience across various aspects of care. The 2018 PaSS list, which is modelled on a globally validated survey, reveals five newcomers and five hospitals appearing for the fifth consecutive year. For the article click here

Schemes must pay surgical charges for obesity; CMS registrar’s conduct ‘deeply concerning’

Medical Brief 24 July 2019 - Doctors may charge 50% more for surgery on obese patients and medical schemes must fund this, the appeal committee of the Council for Medical Schemes has ruled.

The policy of Spectramed’s administrator, Agility Global Health Solutions, had been ‘highly discriminatory’ and the committee also slated the ‘deeply concerning’ conduct of the CMS registrar, which ‘brought the council into disrepute’ and ‘undermined’ its clinical review committee. For the article click here

Medical scheme regulator to decide what benefits can be offered under NHI

Business Day 24 July 2019 - The deputy DG for NHI says medical schemes cannot cover the same benefits as those offered under NHI, to avoid people ‘paying again’

The details of the benefits that medical schemes will be permitted to provide under National Health Insurance (NHI) will be determined by the sector’s regulator, the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS), a senior government official said on Wednesday. The future role of medical schemes is one of the burning questions about the government’s plans for implementing universal health coverage, which it calls NHI. Medical schemes will remain voluntary and will be restricted to providing “complementary” cover, in line with the policy position set out in the NHI White Paper, said Anban Pillay. For the article click here

HPCSA to review rules inquiry found to be anticompetitive

Business Day 24 July 2019 - The council will look at the rules governing the contracts between medical professionals, in the wake of findings that its current stance stifles competition

The HPCSA has previously been criticised by the Competition Commission’s Health Market Inquiry (HMI), which said it was insensitive to the benefits that increased competition could have in making health care more affordable. The inquiry is investigating the barriers to competition in the private health-care sector, and said in its interim report in 2018 that the legal restrictions created by the HPCSA’s interpretation of its ethical rules dampened potentially cost-saving innovation, particularly the rules prohibiting fee-sharing and subcontracting. For the article click here

DA says it can improve health-care system faster and cheaper than the government can

Business Day 24 July 2019 - “The DA supports quality, universal health-care for all South Africans, but we don’t need to follow the NHI model …”

The plan contains a proposal for allocating a universal subsidy to everyone in SA, which they can use to buy public or private sector care. The value of this credit would be set against a package of health services available in the public sector, and medical scheme benefits would be standardised to match this package. For the article click here

Mkhize clings to NHI while public patients suffer neglect and incompetence

Business Day 24 July 2019 - Health department forges ahead with the national scheme despite a lack of evidence about its effectiveness from its multibillion-rand pilot programme

Health minister Zweli Mkhize has the “silver bullet” for the country’s healthcare woes, the parliamentary portfolio committee on health has said. This silver bullet, a government-avowed panacea, goes by the name National Health Insurance (NHI). And the newly revised NHI bill, having recently been passed by cabinet, is on its way to parliament for approval. A leaked report obtained by Business Day this week showed that SA is forging ahead with the NHI scheme despite a lack of evidence about its effectiveness from the government’s multibillion-rand pilot programme. For the article click here

EDITORIAL: State must get real on NHI

Business Day 24 July 2019 - The flagship pilot project in which the health department poured R4.9bn was so poorly conceived that it cannot say what worked and what did not

The government is right to want to change this dismal state of affairs and institute a system that provides universal health coverage, which it calls National Health Insurance (NHI). But time and time again it has demonstrated that politics trumps all else, to the detriment of the very people it claims to be serving. The latest egregious example of this is the way it has handled its flagship NHI pilot sites. For the article click here

Publication date: 7/28/2019