‘NCOP missed the opportunity to address issues in NHI Bill’

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Hospital Association of South Africa has expressed its disappointment and concern at the decision by the National Council of Provinces to pass the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill without engaging with what it says were the many constructive suggestions it and others made.

The Association says in a statement, it believes the NCOP had missed an opportunity to address several fundamental and critical issues that threatened the healthcare system’s efficacy.

The Association says it supports the Bill’s stated objective of Universal Health Coverage but it has repeatedly called for more clarity on the future role of medical schemes and the need to incorporate a multi-payer approach instead of the proposed single-payer regime.

“In addition, there needs to be far more detail regarding funding our country’s most consequential initiative ever. Moreover, solutions to the deepening nurse and doctor shortage and the desperate need for adequate public health facilities to strengthen healthcare delivery remain elusive.

We recognise the role of private healthcare in system strengthening and the requirement for collaboration, so we continue to declare ourselves willing to work to build a healthcare system that serves all South Africans far into the future.”

The Association’s Mark Peach says, “We urge the Presidency to recognise the compelling inputs into the National Health Insurance Bill made by us and many others in healthcare and to address the issues raised by the private sector. Future generations depend on us to make sensible decisions for a sustainable healthcare future, today.”