24 September 2019

Medical schemes regulator suspends five senior officials

Business Day 18 September 2019 – Allegations against Council for Medical Schemes staff include the irregular appointment of service providers

The suspensions follow the resignation earlier this week of head of compliance and investigations Stephen Mmatli, who was suspended in February pending the outcome of an investigation into alleged corruption, and against the backdrop of a probe into the CMS by the Special Investigating Unit for maladministration and corruption. The suspensions raise fresh questions about the legitimacy of inspections currently under way, recent decisions to place schemes under curatorship, and whether the regulator may have turned a blind eye to issues that warranted scrutiny. The CMS issued a statement saying two executives and three senior managers have been suspended but did not name them. Business Day can confirm that the two executives are CMS CFO Daniel Lehutjo and head of legal services Craig Burton-Durham.

Low-cost healthcare solutions are vital to hit sustainable development goals

Business Day 23 September 2019 - Global think-tank policy alliance report lists solutions for governments that are serious about meeting their commitments

The SA government often uses the goal of universal health coverage as a justification for a centrally controlled and administered system it calls National Health Insurance (NHI). However, as World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus states, “All roads lead to universal health coverage [but] ... countries take different paths — using either public or private providers — though public finance will always need to provide social protection for the poor, to improve equity and so no-one is left behind.”

Hope for HIV vaccine being tested in South Africa

BizCommunity 23 September 2019 - An HIV vaccine candidate has shown potential in a study in South Africa.

The vaccine is still experimental. Its purpose is to prevent people who don’t have HIV from contracting the virus. It is not yet known if it will work.

Remgro views NHI as a threat to its growth

Business Day 19 September 2019 - Remgro has flagged uncertainty about the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) among factors that pose risk to its investments.

Remgro owns a stake in private hospital group Mediclinic. Speaking after the release of the company’s full-year results on Thursday, Remgro CEO Jannie Durand criticised the level of co-operation between government and the private sector in the development of NHI.

Aspen seals ARV deal with huge Indian supplier

Business Day 19 September 2019 - Aspen Pharmacare has signed a deal with Indian firm Laurus for the supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) which are used for making HIV/Aids drugs.

The deal with Laurus, which is one of the world’s largest API suppliers, will give the South African government access to competitively priced APIs, according to Aspen senior executive Stavros Nicolaou.

Child and maternal deaths drop globally, but sub-Saharan Africa remains worrying

Business Day 19 September 2019 - UN reports point to unequal progress, with more than five childbirths a minute ending in tragedy

In all, the statistics reveal that an estimated 2.8-million women and newborns die every year, mostly from preventable causes. The reports showed that stark inequalities persist around the world in accessing the services and care needed to ensure safe childbirth. Sub-Saharan Africa has the most dire situation.

Study challenges the idea of region-specific HIV vaccines

Business Day 18 September 2019 South African volunteers’ immune systems respond well to an experimental preventive shot against the virus that causes Aids developed in Thailand

An experimental HIV vaccine first tested in Thailand has triggered a surprisingly strong immune response in South African volunteers, though the region is home to a different strain of the virus, research published this week in the international peer review journal, Science Translational Medicine, shows.


Publication date: 9/25/2019