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NHI: Single fund risky, public-private partnership needed says Discovery Health

25 January 2022 8:03 PM
Tags:
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Discovery
NHI
Discovery Health
Healthcare
National Health Insurance
NHI Bill
health sector
Dr Ryan Noach
public-private partnerships

CEO Dr Ryan Noach discusses Discovery Health's submission on the National Health Insurance Bill, on The Money Show.

"For those who think NHI is dead and buried... it may not be alive and well, but it's certainly kicking!" - Bruce Whitfield.

Submissions on the National Health Insurance Bill are currently being made to Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Health.

Government describes the objective of the Bill as providing "universal access to quality health care for all South Africans as enshrined in the Constitution".

Image copyright: 123rf.com/napatcha

Bruce Whitfield interviews the CEO of Discovery Health, who presented evidence before the Committee on Tuesday.

Dr Ryan Noach notes that the Bill was published for comment in 2019 and is currently going through a review process.

One thing that has become evident, he says, is that the lessons since learned during the Covid-19 pandemic should be incorporated into the Bill

Discovery's starting point, he says is that the company recognises the need for structural reform in South Africa's health sector.

We live in a country where there is inequitable access to healthcare and where there is inconsistent quality and service delivery. Effectively it's a two-tier system and we completely recognise the need to reform both the private and the public healthcare systems simultaneously and in parallel alongside each other, moving towards a unified, universal healthcare access scenario.

Dr Ryan Noach, CEO - Discovery Health

Through Covid-19 we achieved amazing solidarity between the public and the private sector... certainly for the vaccination effort, to deliver a brilliant national vaccination campaign where any South African could access vaccination at a public or private site and achieve exactly the same care and service.

Dr Ryan Noach, CEO - Discovery Health

While Discovery Health is aligned with the aspirations of the Bill, it differs on how to best achieve these.

Dr Noach says the proposed format of a single monopoly fund that buys all healthcare, is problematic.

We think that's risky and actually poses problems for execution, and governance issues and purchasing issues down the line.

Dr Ryan Noach, CEO - Discovery Health

In achieving the same aims and aligned to the same objectives, we've proposed a blended model or a multi-funded model where medical schemes continue to provide funding alongside the NHI... There's a basic benefit package that all South Africans have access to that's fully funded by the NHI and people who can afford it and who choose to, can buy medical scheme cover around and over that...

Dr Ryan Noach, CEO - Discovery Health

All South Africans have access to the same basic benefits package and those that purchase scheme cover, have access to additional services if they choose to.

Dr Ryan Noach, CEO - Discovery Health

While that would give a baseline equity, you would still have an elite who can afford more than the rest? questions Whitfield.

Dr Roach maintains that moving away from a two-tier model, the proposal actually improves access and affordability.

We recognise that our proposal needs a lot of work and a lot of collaboration, but looking at various models around the world, in almost every example the private healthcare system supports the public healthcare system and they work alongside each other collaboratively.

Dr Ryan Noach, CEO - Discovery Health

For more detail, listen to the audio clip below:




25 January 2022 8:03 PM
Tags:
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Discovery
NHI
Discovery Health
Healthcare
National Health Insurance
NHI Bill
health sector
Dr Ryan Noach
public-private partnerships

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