NGOs: Who will NHI cover?

2011-08-12 13:39

Johannesburg - The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and Section27, a public interest law centre, support the government's efforts to restructure the health system through the National Health Insurance (NHI).

However, there were concerns regarding refugee, asylum seeker and non-citizen access, and the structure and governance of NHI, they said in a joint statement on Friday.

The two groups plan to raise these in response to the publication of the green paper, a discussion document released for public comment.

What was required were measures to ensure transparency of tariff structures, reasonability of prices, significant improvements in the quality of public health and a proposed office of health standards compliance.

"With this in mind, we commit ourselves to defending the [health] minister's right, essentially a constitutional obligation, to take all reasonable evidence-based measures necessary to restructure the health system," said Section27 and TAC, who lobby for comprehensive care for people with HIV/Aids.

Monetary sources

According to some details of the NHI released on Thursday, everybody over a yet-to-be-determined income threshold would be legally required to contribute.

Money would come from four sources: taxpayers; mandatory contributions from individuals and employers; co-payments and user charges from individuals; and certain public-private partnerships.
The government did not intend abolishing private medical schemes.

A conditional grant would be allocated in the 2012 budget to fund NHI pilot projects, which would start that year at 10 selected sites. These would be selected based on the outcomes of a planned audit.

Details TAC and Section27 believed the green paper did not fully cover information on the source of funds, the future role of medical scheme administrators, and what the benefit packages would be.

They also wanted more information on the nature and governance structure of the NHI fund, which they believed did not have adequate structural and operational autonomy.

Business Unity SA supported the NHI's "social imperative", but warned the cost, design and institutional changes would require vigorous debate.

"If additional funds are to be allocated to public health, it is imperative that they be effectively used."

Significant policy changes required

The concepts contained in the green paper would affect household budgets, public finance and the labour market, so phasing in and consultation with the National Economic Development Labour Council was also called for.

The People's Health Movement, an NGO that promotes "health for all" and social justice movement, the Alternative Information Development Centre, stressed the importance of strengthening district health facilities.

"In line with the primary health care approach, this will require both active community participation and a collaborative intersectoral approach by a range of government departments and will require significant policy changes."

They would study the green paper and decide whether it offered a comprehensive health service where nobody had to pay at the point of delivery.

  • RVQ - 2011-08-12 13:46

    NHI plus Tolls, is there going to be middle class left when all of this is done?

      Aish - 2011-08-12 13:54

      Hope they got some space left the the skwatta kamps, they going to be filling up soon with everyone that cant afford to live anymore

      CraigColinRoyMcLeod - 2011-08-12 14:03

      Well its the hall mark of african collapse, the last thing to go is the middle class, look at nigeria, zimbabwe etc, what they all lack is a middle class there are only the very poor and the very rich. no middle ground.

      Makutu - 2011-08-12 14:09

      Nope! There won't be any middle Class. There will be the C-Class Mercs that the ANC MPs will be driving and the poor WILL be definitely poorer!

      wsm - 2011-08-12 18:37

      This is part of the ANC-alliance government with its Marxist/Socialist policies that HAVE ALWAYS FAILED IN THE PAST. America is in deep trouble, Europe is folding - because of too much debt. Schemes like this always cost much more money that is projected.. We are going the same route. The debt-increase process will come back to bite us, but these ducks in parliament and government will then have retired and will live in luxury on fat pensions and stolen money from kickbacks on tenders.. In the meantime the average voter will still vote for them, because of the government's innate racism, which only helps one side of the spectrum, that is, their voter base...

  • struth - 2011-08-12 14:04

    This is just going to encourage a new flood of refugees to S.A. The Somalians are waiting at the borders already. This is flipping disgusting and beyond words. No doubt the Government will give free medical treatment to all of Africa's refugees. This is going to end in war. South Africans are not going to stand for this.

      Ockert - 2011-08-12 14:20

      Its going to happen , thats a fact - The free for all part, and there wont be a war as they S.Africans will have to allow it, or face the might of they police force and the military forces.

      iceman1za - 2011-08-12 15:55

      @ockert - not being funny but what police force or military? the police are too busy attacking innocent people and the last time a study was done on our military readiness, it was discovered that if lesotho was to invade us they'd stand a good chance of winning...

      RVQ - 2011-08-12 15:55

      Who says war needs to be fought with guns and knives? If the middle class standd together and decide to sit in for one day... Engineers Doctors IT Professionals Lawyers Middle > Lower management ... We will bring this country to a stand still... ...see what the lower class does without someone needing them ...see what the upper class does without someone feeding them ...

      Linus - 2011-08-12 16:06

      Somalians waiting at the borders? Here in the small town of George I can count about 40 Somalians living in ONE block of flats - who knows how many there are....not counting the Ethiopians, Nigerians, Malawians, Zimbabweans, Chinese and so on. ANC total fail on illegal immigrants.

      Nasdaq7 - 2011-08-16 12:37

      Ockert - use the army and air force whites created to oppress them. How brave.

  • Pokkels_LOL - 2011-08-12 14:04

    Why the F#% must I pay for someone else medical aid! I’m already paying a hell of a lot for to my medical aid fund! Why must I pay for the stupid “NHI”? I’m already part of the 10% that carry the rest of the country with the tax I’m paying!!!

  • Makutu - 2011-08-12 14:08

    Over 6 million illegal immigrants in the country. And that's only Zimbabweans. And they are reproducing. This is ridiculous. I wish I could bomb the ANC Luthuli house. Screw this!!!

      Ockert - 2011-08-12 14:21

      ? only 6 million ?

  • John - 2011-08-12 14:23

    just another avenue for the corrupt officials to steal money,this fund will will always be broke and need a bailout

  • tennilleg - 2011-08-12 14:28

    I would gladly contribute to the NHI if I knew that the tax money I already paid was being put to good use, but where the hell do they get the nerve to hold their hands out for more money when they drive nothing less than Mercs, Beamers and Land Rovers, or when they host lavish 5 star parties, fly business class all over the world and are paying salaries to staff that have been suspended pending trial? Fack them, I want to see them tightening their quadruple XL belts before I give them another cent.

  • ZumaDooma - 2011-08-12 14:30

    Dear Zuma...go get effed....then go and shower

  • Virginia - 2011-08-12 15:05

    We dont mind paying for South Africans who are in need, but why refugees, they do not belong here, look whats happened to countries overseas from letting these people in, there health, education etc is suffering because of this.We can pay for a dr will not benefit from th NHI, many poor looking people will and that not fair.

  • Beanie368 - 2011-08-12 15:25

    NHI is not going to change the level of medical treatment in this country! It is just another avenue that is being used to take funds to feed the ever growing gravy train! The average person cannot afford to pay this and their own medical aid, & why should people who have their own medical aid contribute to this stupid scheme? The ANC are meant to provide health care from Tax not add an additional levy! What is this country becoming? I give up, can everyone not see the distruction when will this ever end! Enough is Enough

  • Henni Apple - 2011-08-12 15:42

    so who cares, as we know, everyone in SA got too much money, or so do they think. idiots it is not true

  • Sisie - 2011-08-12 15:50

    This is so doomed for failure. Another circus, another reason to rob from the taxpayer, so that the Fat Boys can live in luxury and sin, and try and mimic the whites which of course they failure hopelessly at. Somehow it just does not sit right on them, all they come across as are buffoons.

  • Boetman - 2011-08-12 16:08

    The NHI plan will be a disaster. Why don't government just 1) subsidize visits of poor people to private hospitals 2) build more clinics 3)train more doctors to increase health care in SA? There is not a snowballs chance in hell that they will be able to run hosiptals more effiently that the private sector. It is another ANC pipe dream that will come to haunt them ~ remember outcomes based education???

  • struth - 2011-08-12 16:40

    I have just seen an interview on E News with a representative of the Treatment Action Campaign(cant remember his name) and when he was questioned on whether refugees would receive free NHI treatment he replied that it was in the Geneva Convention that all who sought treatment would receive it. So now we have a clear answer on that issue, I reckon the whole of Africa will be our doorstep before long.

  • zackie - 2011-08-12 16:56

    NHI is the new Arms deal just another Govt slush fund where anc gang get richer

  • letsee - 2011-08-12 18:05

    If the management is the same managing hospitals today, what's the difference appart from membership fees? This is another showcase of today from people that can't strategize, plan or project manage and won't be in government when it doesn't take off.

  • Die Bees - 2011-08-12 23:07

    go $#$# yourself you turd

  • Die Bees - 2011-08-12 23:12

    The one nice thing about communism is that now I can retire young and get free medical paid for wekkers and also get some entertainment

      RedData - 2011-08-13 07:54

      Time to retire and close our business. I cannot see a positive way forward for this country.

  • tiotudg - 2011-08-13 08:33

    Suid-Afrika is onteenseglik op 'n dolle vaart na super sosialisme waarin daar weinig gaan oorbly vir die middelklas belastingbetaler - gaan vrolik voort om julle eie grafte te grawe - onthou net spyt kom meestal te laat vir krokodiltrane.

  • Zion - 2011-08-13 12:36

    So many questions and so few answers. Must a person contributing to a private medical scheme also have to contribute to NHI?. What is the minimum salary where a donor is exempt from paying NHI? Should a person paying NHI and private medical aid contributions have the right to demand services from both?. One has the feeling the NHI contribution table will be exponential and follow a similar curve as personal income tax. Will foreigners and refugees be entitles to service on the basis that they are in the country. How does the system accommodate pregnant women and implying that foreigners and refugee women are usually penniless.

  • candicetait - 2011-09-02 14:07

    Madness! More than half the population is unemployed. NHI only works well with a more stable employment rate. There are bigger issues that need to be addressed - what is wrong with the goverment!??

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