Johannesburg - New health tariffs will
help to stabilise medical costs and provide certainty to medical
schemes and patients, the Board of Healthcare Providers said on
"We feel that this is a
much-needed first step in bringing about certainty to medical schemes
and their members," BHF managing director Humphrey Zokufa said
in a statement.
"Nowhere else in the world is
there a situation where healthcare providers do not have a pricing
guideline to work off."
Zokufa said medical scheme providers
had been prohibited from discussing tariffs with healthcare providers
due to a Competition Commission ruling in 2005.
He said a reference price list had been
ended by a High Court order in 2010 and no guidelines had existed to
replace them until the new tariffs were proposed.
"There has been no tariff or
pricing guideline on healthcare provider charges, therefore allowing
for opportunistic charging by some healthcare providers, and putting
severe strain on the pockets of patients," Zokufa said.
The Health Professions Council of SA
(HPCSA) announced the new guidelines on Tuesday. The council hoped
the new regulations would promote transparency and end billing
The tariff guidelines were a yardstick
and practitioners could charge more than stipulated, provided there
was consent from the patient or a relative.
The BHF said it supported patients
having to be consulted by the healthcare provider if the fee exceeded
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