Motsoaledi: We can’t wait to improve healthcare before implementing NHI

Government does not believe it can wait until the healthcare system is improved before implementing national health insurance, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has said.

The minister was speaking at a briefing at Tuynhuys, Parliament, where the report of the outcomes of the presidential health summit, held late last year, was released.

During his address on Tuesday, Motsoaledi said government would be taking significant steps towards implementing universal healthcare.

Last week, president Cyril Ramaphosa said that the National Health Insurance Bill would be tabled before Parliament this year.

NHI will ensure that South Africans can receive free health services at the point of care at both public and private quality-accredited healthcare service providers, Motsoaledi said.

NHI is a proposed state-run health financing system that aims to pool funds to provide access to quality health services for all South Africans regardless of thei
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National Health Insurance legislation will hit private hospital sector’s future investment and capital expenditure, NHI laws threaten 132,000 jobs

National Health Insurance (NHI), which the government is pushing as the solution to SA’s health crisis, could lead to the loss of up to 132,000 jobs, according to the country’s private hospital groups.

NHI, spearheaded by health minister Aaron Motsoaledi, is the government’s policy for introducing universal health coverage and aims to ensure everyone has access to healthcare that is free at the point of service.

The Hospital Association of SA (Hasa), which represents the private hospital sector, was among the industry groups that presented their views on the risks to the economy at last week’s Business Unity SA (Busa) meeting.

The gathering brought together business and government leaders, who have been trying to forge a closer relationship under the auspices of the Public Private Growth Initiative spearheaded by former politician Roelf Meyer and Toyota Europe and Africa CEO Johan van Zyl.

Hasa commissioned economics consultancy E
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Let’s have a look at why doctors and nurses are facing unemployment

It’s the age of austerity and it’s bad news for doctors, nurses and patients alike — unless the state can do more with less.

Almost 200 posts for doctors and specialists remain unfilled at Gauteng’s four academic hospitals — and many of these posts are likely to remain empty, the health department says.

Gauteng hospitals can only fill half of its critical medical staff vacancies — positions that normally go to doctors, specialists and nurses, Gauteng health department deputy director general for clinical services Richard Lebethe says.

Hospitals were first informed about this via an April circular sent to hospitals.

The head of psychiatry at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Wendy Friedlander, says medical officers are feeling the strain of almost 80 vacant posts.

“Doctors [now] have a much greater doctor to patient ratio. If you have more patients, what you can give in terms of time, facilities and resources
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South Africa needs stronger leadership and increased budgets in mental healthcare

The psychiatric profession should play a greater role in advocating for patients’ rights and improving management of mental health in the public sector after a series of recent tragedies that highlighted the neglect of mental healthcare in South Africa.

Professor Bonga Chiliza, incoming South African Society of Psychiatrists (Sasop) president, says the deaths of 144 patients in the now-notorious Life Esidimeni tragedy; allegations of abuse and human rights violations at the Tower Psychiatric Hospital in the Eastern Cape; and the suicide of UCT Health Sciences Dean Prof Bongani Mayosi following his battle with depression all point to need for better management of public sector psychiatry

Therefore, the organisation will ramp up its lobbying for mental healthcare to be allocated an equitable share of the national health budget. Chiliza says Sasop would also be doing more to encourage medical students to specialise in psychiatry, in order to grow th
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