FREE TO READ | Medical cover options: affordability drives innovation
While the government's plan for universal health care is still mired in how it is to be funded and managed sustainably, private providers and pharmacies are looking at ways to reduce costs
The government's proposed system of universal health care for all South Africans based on pooled funds to provide access to quality and affordable care to everyone has raised many questions, not least how it is to be funded and managed. Civil society organisations have all expressed concerns regarding the proposed national health insurance (NHI) and the lack of clarity around it.
Damian McHugh, executive head of marketing at Momentum Health Solutions, agrees that all citizens need better access to quality health care but says the proposed NHI model is not ideal. Explaining that the healthcare system is massively complex and requires careful management and administration, McHugh says the government still needs to explain how private healthcare providers and facilities will be contracted by NHI.
Alan Fritz, acting principal officer of Medshield Medical Scheme, agrees that SA needs a health system in which the public and private sectors can co-exist, while Lee Callakoppen, principal officer at Bonitas Medical Fund, points out that the right of access to health care is much wider than the right to obtain health care through the public sector, and includes the right to purchase health care from the private sector if one can afford it.