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Government u-turns on plans to ‘scrap’ medical aids in SA: report

Government u-turns on plans to ‘scrap’ medical aids in SA: report

The Department of Health’s director-general, Precious Matsoso, is reportedly considering doing a u-turn on government’s intentions to scrap South Africa’s medical schemes – and is instead looking for ways the plans can work with the state when it rolls out National Health Insurance.

According to a report by TimesLive, Matsoso met with several leaders of the medical aid plan sector and asked that they work together to reform healthcare in South Africa.

“The Department of Health is consulting all stakeholders, private, civil society and labour, to get further inputs [on NHI]. All meetings have been positive. We look forward to further engagements,” said Matsoso.

The Department of Health’s original 2015 white paper detailing the NHI plan had stated that it was now official government policy that medical aid schemes would not exist in their current form when NHI was rolled out. Instead they would all be collapsed into a single state-run medical aid plan.

Earlier this year Government and Treasury made a number of changes to gap cover and cash-back plans across the country, in its first steps to transform the healthcare sector.

The new regulations stipulate that hospital cash-back plans are limited to paying their clients a maximum of R3,000 per day, or a total lump sum of R20,000 per year. Currently there are no limits in place for these payments.

Gap cover policies will now also be limited to a payout of R150,000 per annum, per client.


Read: Two massive medical aid changes coming in 2017 that you need to know about


BusinessTech's Staff Writer is directly plugged into the South African Internet backbone, and spits out press releases and other news as they receive it. They are believed to be cl...
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  • Sennen Goroshi

    and what happens when the required Gap cover amount exceeds 150k ? We then have to pay ourselves? I would think something like that could happen to cancer patients.

  • Skerminkel

    Aah, sounds like they started doing sum actual sums and not just shooting from the hip.

  • Lone Stranger

    That means that they will have to get rid of their governmental medical aids, Gems, which is excellent compared to most other medical aids. Doing this will also mean there will be another tax increase to cover that cost. Two thing are for sure though and that is that a medical aid is essential in this country (or you are as good as dead if you land in a provincial hospital with an infection) and that medical aids are insanely expensive.

    The government does not have enough trust in the Provincial Hospitals to give up their medical aids either. If the government were forced to go to provincial hospitals for treatment, you would see how different those hospitals would have been. At this stage it is a death trap. I have lost a few family members to that death trap which refused to get a medical aid.

  • Lacrimose Wolfe

    Oh well, their kak idea will be replaced with some even greater draconian kak idea. We have about 8 dental practices in our neighbourhood but my unemployed, partially-sighted brother has to travel to the ONE state dentist at Tygerberg. 8 months wait to get an appointment (they’ll call you – hur hur hur). Then u get told yes u need dentures (see no teeth so how hard was that) and then gee another 8 months wait to be measured for dentures and probably after that another year to get the dentures. Meanwhile people travel up and down from 3am to get into the q in hopes to make the cut-off. To be sent away with no appointment. To take train, bus, taxi or sommer walk with no transport cost assistance. This is silo thinking at it’s worst.

  • baasted_123

    To be honest, getting rid of Discovery is not their worst idea ever…

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