"NHI will cover quality health care for all, irrespective of socio-economic status. It also covers for financial hardships as healthcare services will be delivered free at the point of care," explains Maja.The aim would also be to provide the vulnerable members of the community with the first preference when it comes to the NHI.
"According to the section on sources of revenue for NHI, only household earning above R70 000 a month may be required to pay NHI-specific taxes. This will be at a rate of between 0.1% and 3.1% depending on the funding scenario used." Looking for Life Insurance to suit your needs? Look no further!
"They will also be entitled to comprehensive healthcare benefits instead of fragmented benefits that are currently underpinned by inadequate prescribed minimum benefits and very little on PHC services."You could still stay on medical aid, make use of NHI, as well as still reap the benefits attached to your medical aid plan.
"It is going to radically reduce the number of medical schemes, who will only be able to cover services not covered in the NHI once it is implemented."Dr Serfontein explains that medical schemes will only be able to offer complementary services not offered by the NHI. This could be any added benefits like cheaper gym memberships to affordable flights.
"Medical scheme membership will be very expensive. Few people will be able to afford additional taxes and medical scheme on top of that. Rare diseases that will be excluded form NHI will also drive up underwriting costs for schemes. This will lead to high premiums," says Serfontein.So essentially, if you are on a medical aid plan, you will most likely not be able to afford the exorbitant fees. This will, in turn, mean that you will lose out on various added benefits.
"Healthcare providers in the public sector will benefit from a better resourced and more accountable and responsive health system. Health care providers in the private sector will also benefit financially as the patient base will be expanded. Whilst there will be more certainty on their potential income especially for PHC(primary health care) providers."They believe that this system will provide all round economic and social change for the country. Furthermore the department has emphasized that private practices will still earn money but within a regulated environment.
"The central tenant of NHI is saving lives and having a healthy society that is economically active. Money should not determine the kind of health care a person receives."
"Some doctors will not be contracted with in their current locations (where there is an “oversupply” of providers). They would have to relocate in order to contract with the NHI Fund for services. This might mean having to move to rural areas in order to participate," explains Senfontein.Another worry that would plague doctors is the salary that the government will be paying them. Government has, in the past, not considered practice cost studies when setting prices. If that does not happen in NHI, doctors might not be able to afford to keep practices open if fees do not cover costs. So if doctors are not being paid enough to stay open, then our healthcare system could worsen its current state.