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Govt: Private health killing itself

Feb 21 2011 22:01 Sapa

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Pretoria - Government aims to pass the bill implementing South Africa's proposed national health insurance (NHI) system during 2012, Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said in Pretoria on Monday.

Speaking at a public lecture at the Tshwane University of Technology, Motsoaledi said he expected a policy document to be presented to Cabinet in the near future after which a white paper would me made available for public comment.

Critics who claimed that the NHI could not be financed were basing their criticisms on prices that were being charged in the private health sector.

Motsoaledi said the private health system was pricing itself out of existence and that it was unsustainable as long as the focus was curative rather than preventative.

"We (the ANC led-government) are not going to kill the private health care system. It is going to kill itself," he said.

Iin South Africa ten percent of the population received 40% of the total health spend, while the poorest 25% of the population received only ten percent of the country's health spend.

"At the time you get sick, there must not be any one demanding money from you."

Medical aids were being short sighted when they refused to provide a young woman with contraception but were then later forced to pay for health care when the woman needed to be treated for a back street abortion gone wrong, Motsoaledi said.
aaron motsoaledi  |  nhi

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