Gauteng hospital tariffs up by 'a reasonable' 4.9% from Wednesday
Paying patients at public hospitals will from Wednesday pay an increased service fee for procedures at public hospitals.
The Gauteng legislature’s committee on scrutiny of subordinate legislation (CSSL) has approved regulations which give effect to the annual adjustment fee of 4.9% on services payable by patients at provincial hospitals and for mortuary and ambulance services.
According to the committee, children under six, pregnant women, pensioners and anyone receiving social grants are exempt from paying for health-care services. This includes formally unemployed people.
In terms of the approved regulations, all foreign nationals are classified as fully paying patients, except for refugees with valid documents.
Provincial health spokesperson Kwara Kekana said the idea that public services should not be paid for was a misconception.
“There are tariffs for procedures. People who are on social grants, as an example, can be treated for anything without paying. If I am poor, I am poor. It does not matter what type of medical procedures I need. The issue of how much it costs is then secondary,” said Kekana.
The amended regulations were presented by the Gauteng health department for approval by the committee and will come into effect from Wednesday.
The regulations give authorisation to the department to make adjustments to these fees annually to ensure it can generate enough revenue to meet the increasing demands of the health-care sector.
“In approving these adjustments, the committee took into consideration the current unfavourable economic environment brought about by Covid-19 and its impact on ordinary citizens, as well as the need for the provincial government to generate revenue in order to strengthen its capacity to provide much needed health-care services,” said the committee.
“The committee noted that the fee adjustments are necessary to ensure public hospitals have necessary resources to operate effectively.”
DA shadow health MEC Jack Bloom said the adjustments were not unreasonable, but it would be up to the province to ensure that they were applied correctly.
“As long as they make sure people who honestly cannot afford are exempted. This is where hospitals draw most of their revenue anyway,” he said.