Health Minister’s comment provides ‘some comfort to medical scheme industry’

15 Jun 2022


Health Minister Joe Phaahla’s comment that NHI will be implemented step-by-step - gradually phasing out the role of medical schemes in the private sector - should provide some comfort to these private healthcare services, according to Business Day (15 June 2022)

Phaahla’s comment signals a continued role for funders for at least several years to come.

“The role of medical schemes is one of the most contentious and ambiguous aspects of the bill. On the one hand, section 33 says when NHI is ‘fully implemented’, medical schemes will not be allowed to provide cover for services reimbursable by the NHI. But, section 8 says people who choose their own healthcare providers instead of using the NHI ‘referral pathway’ will not be funded by the NHI, but will be able to claim from medical schemes or health insurers.

The first piece of enabling legislation, the NHI Bill, is now before Parliament.