Latest News

Private healthcare sector capable of serving twice as many patients
BD Live | 29 July 2015
THE private healthcare sector could serve twice as many patients as it currently does if it provided better primary care services and admitted fewer patients to hospital, PPO Serve CEO Brian Ruff on Monday told delegates to the annual Board of Healthcare Funders conference. SA currently had approximately four private hospital beds per 1,000 insured lives, compared to developed countries which had closer to two private hospital beds per 1,000 insured lives, he said.
Basic medical aid could soon be within reach of the poor
BD Live | 29 July 2015
THE Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) could allow medical schemes to launch cheap products for low-income workers as early as next year, it emerged on Tuesday at the annual Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF) conference. The CMS is a statutory body charged with regulating the medical schemes industry, while the BHF is an industry association for medical schemes and administrators. The CMS is hoping that low-cost benefit options will bring new members into the medical scheme market, which...
Private healthcare is 'wasteful'
Health-e News | 28 July 2015
Private healthcare is wasteful and over-dependent on hospitals, which makes it too expensive for a large group of working people to join medical schemes. As a result, scheme membership has stagnated at around 8,5 million people and is skewed towards older, sicker members. This was the assessment of healthcare consultant Dr Brian Ruff, speaking yesterday at the opening day of the Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF), the group that represents medical schemes and administrators. Ruff said...
Public health suffers if vaccines are not accessible
Mail&Guardian | 24 July 2015
A Western Cape project is looking to make free vaccines available in private clinics, but the Eastern Cape has stopped the practice.   Every month for 20 years, Sister Patricia Watts* vaccinated up to 500 babies at her private clinic in the Eastern Cape city of Port Elizabeth.   Her clientele, however, more closely resemble those of a public health centre.   Most of the mothers who came to her clinic didn’t drive there in their own cars or push their babies...
TAC wants free treatment for all HIV infected
Mail & Guardian | 23 July 2015
The Treatment Action Campaign believes antiretroviral treatment should be offered to all HIV-positive citizens, not just those with low CD4 counts. South Africa's largest HIV lobby group, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), is demanding that everyone infected with HIV in the country is offered antiretroviral therapy (ART) immediately after their diagnosis. Currently, less than half (3.1-million) of the country's estimated 6.4-million HIV-infected citizens receive anti-HIV...
Medical aid change to benefit funders
BDlive | 20 July 2015
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has moved to end a long-running industry row over the extent to which medical schemes are liable for their members’ bills, flighting a set of proposals that appears to appease funders at the expense of patients.   Critics say the minister’s proposed amendments to Regulation 8 of the Medical Schemes Act, published for comment last Tuesday, effectively roll back consumers’ rights and leave them vulnerable to potentially catastrophic...
Fact sheet: South Africa’s HIV programme by numbers
Health-e News | 16 July 2015
A new fact sheet details the achievements of South Africa’s HIV programme, which initiated more than 600,000 people on antiretroviral treatment in 2014/15.   Distributed at the SA AIDS Conference, this one-page fact sheet summarises South Africa’s HIV programme as of 1 June 2015.   In the 2014/15 financial year: 6.3 million people in South Africa were living with HIV; About 9.6 million HIV tests were conducted; About 680,000 people were started on...
South Africa: Women of lower socio-economic status have greater needs for services to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission
aidsmap | 15 July 2015
Pregnant women of lower socio-economic status are more likely to take up early HIV testing and to have HIV-exposed infants, according to findings of a study presented by Nobubelo Ngandu at the 7th South African AIDS conference last month in Durban.   There was a significant difference in the proportion of infants that were HIV-exposed (infants born to HIV-positive women), according to socio-economic status.
Global health leaders call for harnessing power of innovation to end diseases
UNITAID | 15 July 2015
Global health leaders this week discussed how best to harness the power of innovation to launch better and less costly medicines and diagnostic tools  that can help end AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as major public health challenges.   Speaking at a side event on Tuesday hosted at the Finance for Development conference, Ethiopia’s Minister of Health, Kesetebirhan Admasu, said that long term collaboration with both UNITAID and the Global Fund had enabled Ethiopia to...
Digital evolution for ground-breaking Yellow Card Scheme
GOV.UK | 14 July 2015
A Yellow Card smartphone app has been launched today for people to report problems with medicines.   It’s a system borne from one of the biggest healthcare scandals of our time to protect public health.   Fifty years on from its inception, the Yellow Card Scheme is moving into the digital age through a free-access mobile app that was launched today (14 July) by Life Sciences Minister, Mr George Freeman MP.   The Yellow Card Scheme was introduced by Sir Derrick...
WHO lays out plans for financing new global health goal: To ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
WHO | 10 July 2015
WHO is urging countries to move towards universal health coverage and to scale up international investment in catalytic development funding. The call comes as world leaders travel to the Third UN Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa to discuss ways to pay for the new Sustainable Development Goals, to be launched in New York in September 2015.   “The best way to assure meaningful progress towards the new global health goal is for countries to move closer to...
UNFPA, WHO and UNAIDS: Position statement on condoms and the prevention of HIV, other sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy
UNAIDS | 7 July 2015
Condoms are a critical component in a comprehensive and sustainable approach to the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and are effective for preventing unintended pregnancies.