The private
sector can learn a lot from its public counterparts, but still needs to
support the public sector as it meets its challenges.

Addressing
KZNDHC Conference delegates in Durban on Saturday, Discovery Health CEO Dr
Jonny Broomberg stressed that it was now time to stop pointing fingers and move
beyond the tendency to concentrate on reforms and the NHI when dealing with public private sector healthcare issues.

It was time
to deal with the more practical issues such as private public structures and
what was best for the health system at large in this regard, he added: “
The
team-based model is the right model if done properly and the model all should
aspire to in the delivery of health care. It is, after all, better to work with
colleagues than work alone as most GPs do,” he suggested.

A major private
sector problem, he stressed in support of this contention, was that it was
deeply fragmented, intimating that this was where it should look at the public
sector in terms of collaboration.

“Good news is
that there are some moves in this direction where we have larger groups, for
example, providing primary care with GPs being joined by physios, dieticians
etc to provide a ‘one-stop shop’, so to speak.”

In hospitals, he noted, there were also multidisciplinary teams such as oncologists,
radiologists and psychiatrists working together.

It was
unfortunate, however, that many private doctors were still “stuck in their comfort zones”
when it came, for example, to the idea of working in hospitals, Broomberg added
in the ensuing debate.

On this, he
said, an innovative mind-set was now required when asking “how can we do things
differently?”