Health Funders’ Association comments on the NHI Bill

By: Health Funders’ Association

The Health Funders Association (HFA) congratulates Minister Mkhize on the introduction of the NHI Bill and the government’s commitment to implementing a system of universal healthcare for all South Africans.

The HFA welcomes the fact that this version of the Bill provides more detail than previous versions on issues of care coordination, funding, provision and procurement.  

Lerato Mosiah, CEO of the HFA says that, as signatories of the Presidential Health Compact, the HFA has committed its willingness to support and assist the government in establishing the mechanisms necessary to achieve a sustainable system of universal healthcare.

Mosiah adds that, while the organisation is still studying the detail of the Bill, there are several high-level areas, such as the role of medical schemes, where greater clarity is required, and she hopes to address these with Minister Mkhize.  

“The private healthcare funding industry is a national asset with a technologically advanced infrastructure and experience in the delivery of efficient administration, timely payouts, holistic benefit design and good governance.  We believe that this asset could and should be leveraged both during the implementation of NHI and once the system is up and running”, she said.

Mosiah adds that this view is supported by the fact that the principles contained in the NHI Bill and the Medical Schemes Act mirror one another. 

“Both the NHI Bill and the Medical Schemes Act have, at their core, principles which ensure access and equity which advance the values of social solidarity and protection. These include a set of guaranteed benefits, open enrolment and cross-subsidisation between the rich and poor, and the sick and healthy”, said Mosiah. 

The HFA firmly believes that, while there are some areas of concern in the Bill, such as the proposed single, centrally managed fund, there are many other areas, such as the focus on quality improvement, that will be constructive for the entire healthcare sector and most importantly, for the population of South Africa.

“As HFA we are committed to a sustainable system of universal healthcare for all South Africans and look forward to working with the government to achieve this noble goal”, said Mosiah.