3 Major Problems with the New NHI

Three major concerns with the new NHI have been outlined by the Public interest law centre, Section 27. The National Health Insurance Bill aims to provide universal access to quality healthcare throughout South Africa. It is open to public comment until 29thNovember. 

However, since its inception, the bill has been surrounded by controversy and concerns have been raised in terms of how it will be funded, the quality of care and what will happen to private medical aid schemes. 

Section 27 shows three major aspects of the NHI Bill that need to be changed. 

Firstly, is governance. In respect to this, the Minister of Health will appoint the NHI Fund Board Members, the Board Chairperson and the CEO of the NHI Fund. The decision making is then far too concentrated.

The second issue is transparency. All NHI related processes and decisions will need to be transparent if they hope to increase public trust in the NHI and to also reduce corruption under NHI.

The third major issue is try before you buy. With the NHI Bill comes new and untested structures and administrations. The creation of these new structures are being bought into law and if they fail there is no way back and without any transition provisions, which could stagger implementation and allow for learnings.

Healthcare Workers Are Not Happy

Trade union Solidarity has warned in a recent report that the NHI will have an impact on the healthcare industry. 

Research psychologist at Solidarity Research Institute, Nicolien Welthagen said the report is based on questionnaires that was sent to both private and public healthcare practitioners across the country. 

General feedback was that healthcare practitioners have massive concerns about the proposed NHI. Overall, the findings point towards a distrust in the government in regards to the way that they want to implement and manage the NHI. Welthagen said that 80% of respondents are negative or doubtful about the NHI. She went on to say that in accordance with the results the respondents don’t believe that the healthcare system or its delivery will improve with the NHI.

Only 15% of respondents believe that the NHI could be successfully implemented and 84.5% have the view that the implementation of the NHI could potentially destabilise the healthcare system and could harm the high quality service that is already being provided in the private sector. 

On top of this, the report also highlights the huge risk of health practitioners leaving the country and the threat this could have on future healthcare in South Africa.

She said that 20.8% of respondents have already taken steps to emigrate and 41.06% would consider leaving South Africa when the NHI is implemented. 

Article Source: https://businesstech.co.za/news/government/355255/the-3-major-problems-with-south-africas-new-nhi-and-why-some-doctors-want-to-leave/