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Medshield | National Health Insurance (NHI) Act Signed Into Law


President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the National Health Insurance Bill into law yesterday (Wednesday, 15 May 2024). This is a significant milestone in South Africa’s collective efforts to progress towards universal health coverage (UHC) and improve access to quality healthcare services for all South Africans. Unfortunately, whilst we support the concept of UHC, we believe the NHI Bill is fundamentally flawed, does not provide any certainty on what the cost to the taxpayer will be to fund the NHI, and does not address the critical role that medical schemes can play in conjunction with the NHI.

 

How does this signing of the NHI Bill impact members of Medshield Medical Scheme (Medshield)?

There is no impact on members of Medshield. It is business as usual, and we reassure you of our continued commitment to support and enable your clients’ access to quality healthcare services. We believe that the implementation of the NHI, as envisaged by Government, will take many years to implement, with many hurdles to be faced, including legal challenges from different stakeholders.

 

We believe the NHI’s intent is commendable as it is meant to address systemic challenges within our healthcare system and ensure that every citizen has access to the quality care they need, regardless of their socio-economic status. However, we do not believe the Act in its current form will achieve this intent. We strongly believe that medical schemes are a national asset and should continue to play a significant role in providing access to quality healthcare now, and in the future.

 

We will continue to support our industry association, the Board Healthcare Funders, in challenging various unconstitutional and unlawful aspects of the NHI Act, with a view to ensuring the longevity of the medical schemes industry.

 

We will continue to actively monitor developments, engage with relevant authorities, and provide updates and communiqués to you on an ongoing basis.

 

Sincerely,

 

Kevin Aron

Principal Officer | Medshield Medical Scheme

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