The NHI Bill signifies a new era for South Africa’s healthcare system. It is a crucial step towards addressing disparities in healthcare access and aims to provide equitable and quality care to all citizens, regardless of their socio-economic backgrounds.
There have been many discussions both in support of and against the NHI Bill since its signing. Nonetheless, it’s important to take into account a few key issues during these discussions.
About 80% of the population cannot afford private healthcare. On average only 16-20% of the South African population can afford private healthcare, meaning over 80% of the population relies on public healthcare and its infrastructure.
Some members who can afford private healthcare (around 16-20%) have shared concerns about affordability. In certain situations, they can only afford to cover their own healthcare costs and not those of their family members.
However, it is also important to note, that of the percentage that do afford premium care, a good portion want access and choice to high-quality care and are willing to pay a premium for it!
Private care offers its members a level of security that is not easily accessible in the public sector. This includes access to quality infrastructure and the ability to choose their own providers, among other benefits.
These preferences raise concerns about accommodating diverse needs and preferences in the NHI environment. Additionally, employers who provide private healthcare benefits to their employees may need to reassess their employee benefits, which could impact retention. This can be a complex task for employers.
At present, employers are facing a dilemma between two conflicting ideologies. (1) Private healthcare provides job security and helps retain employees. However, as healthcare costs rise, organizations are forced to pay high medical subsidies, which impact their profits.
(2) Although the NHI Bill aims to provide some relief, many people don’t trust the government to manage public funds and implement the Bill efficiently. It’s important to consider the tax implications and also to improve the capabilities and infrastructure of the public healthcare sector to ensure the success of the NHI.
What has become clear is businesses and employees both need a solution that speaks to their business and individual needs. A solution that is equitable, fair and affordable. Employers need practical solutions that suit diverse healthcare needs and preferences. It is important to work together and find a compromise between the National Health Insurance (NHI) and current private medical insurance, utilizing the advantages of both public and private healthcare systems.
One of the biggest questions that need to be addressed is: What steps can businesses take to reap benefits from healthcare without incurring high costs or compromising on quality healthcare?
Join ASI Financial Services – in partnership with Business Day Dialogues – for a panel discussion moderated by Joanne Joseph, to unpack how Businesses can navigate the NHI environment, practically and successfully.
Dr Nicholas Crisp, Deputy Director General of the National Health Insurance, will provide insight into the implementation of the NHI Bill, and will be joined by Anthony Govender, CEO of ASI Financial Services.
Prelisha Singh, the Head of Public Law at Webber Wentzel, Teshlin Akaloo, Managing Director of NetcarePlus and Dr Stan Moloabi, Principal Officer from GEMS.
The discussion will explore the current and future scenarios that businesses may encounter, with practical models and strategies to adopt for your business, its employees and their families.
Date: 16 August 2023
Time: 10h00 to 11h30
Register here to reserve your spot to this insightful conversation.