Practitioner forum warns against NHI bill

By Doug Mattushek - 14 August 2019Views : 640

The South African Private Practitioners Forum (SAPPF) is concerned that the new National Health Bill will drive healthcare professionals away.

Last week, health minister Zweli Mkhize introduced the NHI to parliament and while it was met with applause, it is certainly not without its detractors.

The Citizen reports that the SAPPF is concerned about the government's ability to improve the quality of public healthcare.

"Failure of the health compact to turn around every facility in the public healthcare sector will mean that the public sector facilities will not be of sufficient quality to contract with the NHI fund," read a statement.

"The continued implementation of NHI, without confirming that the Presidential Health Compact was successful, could do immense damage to the healthcare system and could result in a shortage of public sector service providers for the NHI fund to contract with."

This view is echoed by Peter Montalto, the head of capital markets research at Intellidex. Montalto indicated that the private healthcare system is already meeting Mzansi's needs and he doesn't see the government matching their level of quality healthcare.

"The British system obviously had a much earlier start and one of the differences is that [South Africa] already has a well developed private healthcare system which is an established market and is meeting needs," said Montalto.

"Private healthcare had not been built up in the UK, so there is a different dynamic. In SA, it means replacing something that is already there with something of better quality, so that will be more of a political problem."