Today's Labour News

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healthcareFin24 reports that the successful implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) programme hinges on its funding model, according to Ian Jacobsberg, partner at law firm Hogan Lovells.  

He stated on Friday that the objectives of the programme to improve general primary healthcare and access to all citizens could not be faulted and the ideas behind it were good, but there were questions about its successful implementation, particularly in respect of the enablement of finances.  The NHI white paper suggested that medical tax credits, which are meant to “reimburse” those making use of private healthcare, be removed and in turn fund the NHI.  But Jacobsberg said this option could end up being a “vicious circle”.  “A lot of people who currently finance their own medical aid are only able to do so because they receive the tax credit.  If taking away the tax credit is the only way to fund NHI, then NHI would have to be fully operational for people to be able to afford to lose their tax credits.  It’s a bit of a chicken and egg (situation),”Jacobsberg observed.  Another option for funding could see government incorporate state-owned medical aids into the NHI.  “That is probably the starting point before they look at private sector medical aids,” Jacobsberg noted.

  • Read this report by Lameez Omarjee in full at Fin24

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