Today's Labour News

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healthcareThe Sunday Times reports that, while some have welcomed the government’s proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) legislation, legal and medical experts said many doctors would reject the planned cap on what they could charge for consultations and surgeries.  

Some analysts warned that state-regulated fees would drive doctors to emigrate, leaving the health sector worse off than it was now.  Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Thursday released the NHI and Medical Schemes Amendment bills for comment.  Under the NHI bill, the new health insurance fund would be the biggest purchaser of health services in SA and consumers would have to contribute to it.  The bill also proposes price controls in the private sector.  Medical lawyer Neil Kirby of Werksmans said that in view of the scarcity of doctors, it would not be a good strategy to freeze out those who did not stick to NHI rates.  “The prudence of excluding healthcare providers, in an already strained system starving from a lack of available expertise, is highly questionable if not irrational,” he commented.  Norton Rose Fulbright director Michelle David said doctors were likely to challenge the NHI in the courts, as they had challenged price control before.  Graham Anderson of Profmed was amongst those who warned that, if doctors were not happy with the tariffs they would have to charge, they would emigrate.  He said emigration was the main cause of members leaving Profmed medical scheme.

  • Read more of this The Sunday Times report by Katharine Child at SA Labour News

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