A more
immediate or shorter-term answer to the difficulties currently faced in the
provision of healthcare must be prioritised, the Alliance of SA Independent
Practitioner Associations (ASAIPA) has intimated in its National Health
Insurance (NHI) submission cover presented to the Portfolio Committee on Health
this week

also wants to use the opportunity to submit its proposed solutions to current
difficulties in achieving Universal Health Care in South Africa,” the cover notes.

Among the
proposed solutions are:

Family Medicine with Universal Health Coverage

an intelligent digital healthcare system

multi-disciplinary Community Oriented Primary Care (COPC) approach

mobile voucher system

also willing to engage around the recommendations made by the Health Market

Enquiry to
rectify what is currently wrong in the private healthcare sector,” it adds.

While supporting
the NHI Bill contention that the Fund must: “take all reasonably necessary
steps to achieve the objective of this Act and the attainment of universal
health coverage”, among the main concerns expressed in this regard in the
ASAIPA submission has been that no explanatory memorandum or draft regulations
were provided with the draft Bill and no indication is given as to the
financial viability of the NHI Fund.

“It is
difficult to understand and comment on a bill where its full application and
its actual eventual cost to taxpayers is a mystery at comment stage,” ASAIPA

Also of
concern has been that the most important matters “are yet again left to
regulation at some future uncertain date” and among those cited include:

relationships between Fund and health establishments, service providers or suppliers;

mechanisms to purchase personal health care services from certified, accredited
and contracted service providers, health establishments or suppliers;

information and diagnostic codes to be submitted and used;

of users; and

of, and reporting by, service providers, health establishments or suppliers serving

Also still
to be clarified in this regard will be the relationship between public and
private health establishments – and the optional contracting in of private
health care providers –  defining the
scope, benefits and nature of health service benefits and programmes and the
manner in and extent to which they must be funded, and importantly, payment of
health care providers.

Office of the ASAIPA COO