Government just shot itself in the foot: Netcare

 ·20 May 2024

Netcare supports the implementation of universal healthcare in South Africa but says that the signing of the National Health Insurance (NHI) Act, in its current form, will only result in delays.

In its interim financial results for the six months ended 31 March 2024, the group acknowledged the need to address inequities in healthcare access and delivery in South Africa while remaining fully supportive of universal healthcare.

Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the NHI Bill into law, which he said should remove the imbalance where the private sector only caters to a tiny percentage of the population while the public sector remains overburdened and underfunded.

That said, the Act in its current form faced opposition from Netcare, medical aid schemes, businesses, members of the public and parliament’s own legal team.

“The Bill was signed without addressing fundamental areas of weakness,” said Netcare.

“Furthermore, significant flaws in the Bill and the legislative processes followed in promulgating the Bill will likely result in the Bill being challenged on numerous fronts, unfortunately leading to further delays in implementation.”

Netcare said that the potential delays in providing universal healthcare could have been avoided if the government had engaged with all the interested parties.

“Nevertheless, Netcare welcomes the President’s statement in which he expressed the desire to work with all parties, albeit after the fact.”

“The concluding phases of Netcare’s ten-year strategy to transform the way we deliver health and care will remain unaffected, and we expect it to further enhance our future participation in the provision of universal healthcare.”


The group’s total paid patient days (PPD) for H1 2024 dropped by 0.8% compared to the prior period, but the total PPD grew by 0.4% in the seven months to 30 April 2024, which the group said is more accurate the timing difference created by the school and easter holidays.

Group revenue jumped by 4.3% to R12,034 million, while normalised Group EBITDA for H1 2024 improved by 7.5% to R2 167 million.

“In H1 2024, the Group incurred operational costs relating to strategic projects of R87 million (H1 2023: R127 million),” said the group.

“We experienced an average of Stage 2.6 (H1 2023: Stage 3.5) load shedding across our facilities in H1 2024, resulting in a reduction in generator diesel costs to R39 million from R67 million in H1 2023.”

Normalised operating profit increased by 8.7% from R1,382 million to R1,502 million.

The group’s headline earnings per share jumped from 44.8 cents in H1 2023 to 48.9 cents in H1 2024, and the group declared an interim dividend of 30.0 cents per share—in line with H1 2023.

FinancialsH1 2023H1 2024
Revenue (Rm)11 53712 034
Normalised EBITDA (Rm)2 0152 167
Normalised operating profit (Rm)1 3821 502
Basic earnings per share (cents)45.848.7
Headline Earnings per share (cents)44.848.9
Interim Dividend (cents)3030

Read: How much you would have if you invested R1,000 in Discovery, Netcare and other health stocks – after the NHI bombshell

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