Dr Gwen Ramokgopa

Collaboration
between associated service providers to the country’s healthcare personnel and
needs in general is critical, particularly in an environment under transition
such as that being experienced in South Africa at the moment.

Addressing
guests at the launch of the Aon Medicoop partnership in Johannesburg yesterday
(see previous Med Brief Africa report), Dr Gwen Ramokgopa, immediate past
Gauteng Health MEC (she vacated her office on Wednesday afternoon), alluded to
the advent of National Health Insurance (NHI) and the concept of universal
healthcare.

“We are a
country in transition with our healthcare reforms, but in transition we must
accept that there are risks of mitigation with the pressures being put on our
private medical practitioners in particular,” she warned.

An example
she cited were the indemnity pressures being put on obstetrics and gynaecology
specialists: “Hearing that there were no gynaecologists in Worcester any more,
for example, was very disturbing and worrying.

“Whilst
creating an integrated health system,” Ramokgopa added, “we need to deal with
the current pressures and this is where collaborations such the Aon and
Medicoop agreement are so important. We need products that understand the needs
of professionals to help stabilise the system, both private and public.”

Adding
another dimension to the current situations facing health care professionals,
she continued, is that they now find themselves at the centre of a technical
revolution: “They need all the advice they can get in this regard if they are
going to remain true to putting their patients first.”