Medicine in China
The government is to intervene to curb rocketing private healthcare costs and prevent the sector's demise, Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang said on Tuesday. The health charter task team, among others, has been discussing the challenge of making healthcare more affordable, she told the National Assembly's health committee. However, these discussions are taking much longer than anticipated, with no indication of the outcome. I have therefore decided that the current challenges in the private sector are best resolved through legislative interventions, she said. The resolutions at the private healthcare sector indaba (meeting), convened by the Health Ministry in September last year, have mandated the Health Department to introduce legislative interventions to address the high costs of private healthcare, she said.
The registrar of medical schemes, Patrick Masobe, has threatened to take private hospitals to the Competition Commission if they fail to justify their price increases planned for next year, Business Day reported on Monday.
It seems you cannot open a newspaper or financial journal anywhere in the world without finding articles about the unacceptable cost of private healthcare, or the high rate of medical inflation. In South Africa, these articles are embedded with doom and gloom the very survival of the private healthcare system is called into question on a regular occasion.
Private hospitals will overcharge medical aid schemes - and their members - by at least R2-billion this year. Dr Rajesh Patel told the Board of Healthcare Funders conference in Sun City , North West , on Tuesday that although schemes normally paid the acquisition cost of devices and materials, hospitals were getting vendors to inflate invoices.
Hospital costs are now almost 70% higher than they should be, because of the increased market dominance of a few private hospitals.
CAPE TOWN * Although medicine costs have fallen since government began regulating prices two years ago, medical schemes are not passing on the benefits to their members, says Innovative Medicines SA (Imsa).
Patients are dying unnecessarily because South Africas public hospitals are over-burdened, under-staffed and poorly managed.
Savings of between 13 percent and 15 percent on medicines are on the cards if draft regulations on pharmacies' dispensing fees are approved. Announcing these on Thursday, Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang said the fees would be on a sliding scale.
THIS promises to be another year of controversy, confusion and anxiety for South Africans on the health-care front, as government comes under renewed pressure to deal with its human resource crisis, speed up provision of AIDS drugs and implement a raft of new laws.
Ahead of a major shake-up for SAs health-care providers, government has finally issued its long-awaited tender for a new compulsory medical aid scheme for public servants.