PRESS STATEMENT BY THE HEALTH FUNDERS ASSOCIATION – 13 August 2019
Health Funders’ Association Press Statement on the NHI Bill
The Health Funders Association (HFA) congratulates Minister Mkhize on the introduction of the NHI Bill and 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 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 government to achieve this noble goal”, said Mosiah.
The Health Funders Association is a representative organisation for medical schemes, administrators and managed care organisations.
Membership covers 53% of medical scheme members across open and restricted schemes (made up of 76% from open schemes and 21% of restricted schemes). The membership covers over 4.4m medical scheme beneficiaries.
HFA’s role is:
- To facilitate and encourage the establishment of a conducive healthcare funding industry through active engagement with all relevant stakeholders in both the public and private sectors
- To assist in the sustainability & development of private healthcare funders
- To support policymaking & legislation reforms
- Advocacy and lobbying: to be the united voice of the members of the Association