BHF warns against finger pointing in health sector

SABC News Katlego Mothudi - BHF warns against finger pointing in health sector

The Board of Healthcare Funders of Southern Africa, BHF, has warned the private health sector against pointing fingers at the public sector as the only one with challenges ahead of the full implementation of the National Health Insurance.

BHF Managing Director, Dr. Katlego Mothudi says poor governance is a challenge in both sectors.

He was speaking at the Mail and Guardian’s National Health Insurance Conference in Johannesburg.

“If you look at 2005, we had about 155 medical aid schemes; I think this year we have 78 so there has been attrition and consolidation over time. Governance is also a big challenge. I think in the same period you had more than 15 schemes going under curatorship, so there are multiplicity of challenges which I think we need to highlight when we talk about healthcare reform. We must never give the impression that the one side is doing better than the other.”

Meanwhile, the Health Department says the impact of the National Health Insurance on medical aid schemes will only be felt once the NHI is fully implemented.

It says for now medical aid schemes will continue to exist while plans to roll-out the new health financing system continue.

Two weeks ago, government released the NHI Bill, which paves the way for the roll-out of the NHI.

The Deputy Director-General in the Health Department Dr. Anban Pillay says medical aids will continue to exist in exactly the same form as they do now.

“Medical schemes will continue to exist in this environment until the minister makes a call that I’ve now reached the end of full implementation of NHI, at that point is the only point at which it will have an impact on medical schemes, until that point medical schemes continue to exist in exactly the same form as they do now.”

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