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South African Healthcare criticism

South African Healthcare criticism – further delay in Health Inquiry and release of IRR report

There are currently three important considerations affecting the healthcare sector in South Africa: the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill, the Medical Schemes Amendment Bill and the Health Market Inquiry. The timing and sequence of the release of the legislation and inquiry report have received lots of mixed views in the industry and market place. Both the delay in the Health Market Enquiry report and distrust in the National Health Insurance Bill (NHI) were featured in LegalBrief Today this week.

A further delay in the release of the Competition Commission’s long-running health market inquiry report was announced. According to the Competition Commission it wants to give stakeholders more time to comment on its provisional findings published in July 2018. Business Day reported that the deadline for the publication of the report has been pushed out by a further two months, to 30 November 2018.

The preliminary report of the four-year investigation found that the market “displays consistently rising medical scheme premiums accompanied by increasing out-of-pocket payments for the insured … and a progressively decreasing range of services covered by medical scheme options”.

LegalBrief Today also focussed on a report by the Institute of Race Relations that argues that the NHI’s aim of ensuring decent healthcare for all will not become a reality.

According to report authors, Marius Roodt and Mailies Fleming, the implementation of NHI was likely “to trigger an exodus of health professionals, which will increase the already heavy burden on those who remain in the country”. “As the number of doctors fall and other standards drop, a decline in the quality of healthcare for all will be the inevitable result,’ they said.

According to Roodt and Fleming it is not a lack of resources that is causing these problems, but poor management and administration, corruption and cadre deployment.

Click here to download the Health Market Inquiry: Provisional findings and recommendations report.

Click here to download the IRR’s news release titled “SA’s public health system is in crisis because of negligence, corruption, and mismanagement.”.


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