“If they are going to trash the private sector in order to get the public sector up and running, doctors are going to go,” said Profmed officer, Graham Anderson. “If the doctors emigrate then other professionals, who can afford to leave, will go because they want healthcare for their children.”What the Bill proposes, in reality, is the nationalization of healthcare. And as it is with so many other industries – if you nationalize it, the private sector will pack up and vacate. That’s a big problem in this specific industry, with many creases to iron out. There’s certainly trouble on the horizon. The National Health Insurance is pretty much unavoidable – so how will it impact your life?
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“We have already identified 12 Acts that will have to be amended by this House (the NCOP) to accommodate NHI.”According to the Minister of Health, there are four areas which will need to be addressed, governed and properly controlled in order to stabilise the healthcare system. He named the Life Esidimeni tragedy among the major health disasters which have occurred due to these four issues. They are:
“Yes, under NHI, the rich will subsidise the poor. The young will subsidise the old. The healthy will subsidise the sick. The urban will subsidise the rural,” said Motsoaledi.For many South Africans, the NHI will be a saving grace – a mandatory fund for free, high quality healthcare for both rich and poor citizens. It looks really good on paper, and it’s a strong commitment to equality. Whether it can measure up to reality is yet to be seen, though, but most are quite doubtful of its success. No official funding plans have been announced.
"What do you need brokers for?” asked Motsoaledi. “They are sitting and earning money for a service that is not necessary. Why can’t that money be used for diseases, for people who are ill?"Motsoaledi has also said that government subsidies for civil servants – and the specific schemes that are restricted to government employees – will eventually be eliminated. Those who can afford to pay for medical aids would have the option to top up, though. Indeed, one of the biggest obstacles that the government’s NHI faces will be to convince South Africans that they will receive quality healthcare from the public sector. Anybody who has ever been to a public hospital will know – that isn’t going to be easy. Olive Shisana, speaking at this year’s SA Medical Association conference, said that if the NHI went ahead at this very moment, only 16% of the government’s health facilities would qualify for use in terms of the guidelines introduced by the Office of Health Standards Compliance. This office has been set up to inspect healthcare institutions, ensuring that they comply with strict maintenance and cleanliness standards.