Doctor / Pixabay: DarkoStojanovic
CAPE TOWN – The Hospital Association of South Africa (HASA) has expressed disappointment with the passing of the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill.
It says the moved happened without any of its proposals being taken on board.
The bill was passed by the National Council of Provinces on Wednesday without any amendments made to the version passed by the National Assembly in June, despite another round of public consultation.
The association – which represents the private hospital sector – said it believes the legislation is a missed opportunity to address fundamental and critical issues affecting future plans for universal healthcare.
HASA said the NHI Bill has failed to deal with issues such as staff shortages and the funding model for universal health care.
READ: SA can’t afford litigation if NHI signed into law in current form – Business SA
The executive head of public affairs of the hospital association, Mark Peach, said more clarity is also needed regarding the future role of medical schemes.
“We have issues with the single funder model. We believe this needs to be looked into seriously and urgently.”
Peach said more solutions are also needed to address the deepening nurse and doctor shortage, as well as the need for more public healthcare facilities.
“The objective of universal health coverage is one that we support and therefore we will continually and consistently work towards achieving that in as a sustainable manner as possible into the future.”
HASA is now among several organisations calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to consider their submissions – which they believe can strengthen the bill, before signing it into law.