Momentum Metropolitan Health response to NHI
South Africa faces a tremendous challenge to ensure access to healthcare for all South Africans. This is often referred to as universal health cover. Through the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill, government seeks to fulfil its constitutional obligation to provide quality universal healthcare for all as envisaged in Section 27 of the Constitution – and thereby bridge the unbearable inequalities in our society. There are bound to be different views on a matter of this critical importance. Those different views, when expressed constructively, will shape a healthcare system that is better for all South Africans and ensure that we have an economically powerful South Africa. Similarly, if we as a country get the implementation of universal healthcare wrong, it could create even larger economic challenges.
The draft NHI Bill was published in June 2018 for public comment. After the public comments were considered, Cabinet approved a revised Bill for introduction to Parliament. Parliament published the revised Bill on 8 August 2019. The Bill will be open for public debate and comment for a period of three months, and then further provincial and government processes will follow.
Whilst a section of the draft NHI Bill suggests that current medical aid schemes will gradually be transformed to only provide complementary services, other parts of the Bill are clear on private sector participation. We therefore remain confident that the private sector and private funding models will have a substantial role to play in the much needed quest for universal health coverage. The private healthcare sector is contributing significantly to the health and wellbeing of a large and increasing percentage of the population.
The Momentum Metropolitan Health team has historically made submissions on previous versions of the Bill and has engaged with government and various industry forums that we are involved in to share our views on how we can help build a better, more universal healthcare system. Alongside the Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF), the Health Funders Association (HFA) and Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), we will continue to make a contribution, carefully work through the Bill and actively work with government towards removing inequalities and creating sustainable universal health cover for all South Africans.
As a fully established healthcare business, we will continue to ensure that key assets, capabilities, expertise, skills, data, research and thought leadership are made available to support the design and implementation of universal access to healthcare. We believe that if the public and private sectors, including providers, members, advisers, regulators and funders work together, we can create a system that provides quality healthcare for all South Africans.
As we move forward to better understand and contribute to sustainable solutions, we will continuously share progress and support schemes, members, providers, advisers and other stakeholders to ensure equality in healthcare. Momentum Metropolitan will be honoured to be able to assist government in building a universal healthcare system that we can all be proud of.
Source: via email, 16/08/2019