BHF supports the progress made by the Minister to accelerate efforts towards action to enable the success of NHI implementation

The Board of Healthcare Funders of Southern Africa (BHF) has welcomed progress made towards universal healthcare for all citizens with the proposed amendments to the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill and the Medical Schemes Amendment Bill as announced by the Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.

The BHF represents 45 medical aid schemes, administrators and managed care organisations in South Africa and an additional 23 medical aid schemes across southern Africa, namely in Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Malawi, Lesotho and Swaziland.

“As an industry representative body, we support the intention and action aimed at ensuring that the greater population of the country receives quality healthcare,” says Dr Ali Hamdulay, Chairperson of the BHF Southern Africa.

“We are committed to the NHI as a vehicle that will enable the country to achieve universal health coverage, not just for the 8.9 million lives covered in private healthcare but the 56 million lives of our entire population,” says Dr Hamdulay.

“We will continue to engage the Minister around a practical and judicious approach to NHI and to seek guidance on where we can contribute towards enabling its success,” says Dr Hamdulay.

“The private healthcare sector cannot stand by and think that it won’t be affected should the public sector suffer. Public and private healthcare sectors are not mutually exclusive. Some schemes use state institutions for Designated Service Providers (DSPs)and our entire healthcare workforce is trained via academic and public institutions. It’s therefore imperative that the private sector collaborates  closely with the Minister and the Department of Health and share their views, insights and knowledge to positively shape the healthcare landscape.

“It’s now time for action and close collaboration and we are going in on this together,” he said.

According to Dr Hamdulay, over the coming weeks, the BHF will closely study the Health Insurance (NHI) Bill and the Medical Schemes Amendment Bill and engage with its members to make submissions and contributions towards the proposed amendments.