Private healthcare a 'brutal system'

2011-10-10 08:05

Johannesburg - Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Sunday said private healthcare was a "brutal system" because it has commercialised an essential service.

"How can we run such a brutal system... the government will not fold its arms when there is such rampant commercialisation in the healthcare sector," he said at a general practitioners' meeting in Durban.

He said the use of a public good for excessive profit was unacceptable, which was why the state had introduced the National Health Insurance (NHI).

Motsoaledi was consulting with general practitioners on the NHI as part of an interprovincial road show, following the release of the government's green paper in August.

He said private hospitals and specialists were receiving the majority of South Africa's R84bn health expenditure.

Private hospitals received R31.1bn and specialists received a total of R19bn.

"R14bn goes to pharmaceuticals, R6.2bn goes to general practitioners and only the remainder (about R14bn) is for public healthcare and non-medical expenses."

The public has until November to comment on the NHI discussion document.

A total of R125bn was estimated to be spent next year on preparations, which include establishing 10 test sites.


  • Nuck Choris - 2011-10-10 09:18

    If it is so brutal then why do the likes of Malema and co use it. Yes it is because they dont want to die at the hands of the less brutal public hospitals.

      thulasizwe.mthethwa - 2011-10-10 11:31

      You got that right Nuck, if it is as brutal as he claims maybe he should explain to us why he has a private medical aid himself. What with public officials lying to the poor people, because it doesn't Newton to know that they themselves use these services ans WHO would want to die in LONG lines in public hospitals?

  • Timothy - 2011-10-10 12:02

    I dont feel like i should be forced to have health insurance, I think everyone would like to have health insurance if they could afford it. If you need affordable health insurance search online "Penny Health" or you dont want to be with out insurance any time.

  • derekneilmaclachlan - 2011-10-10 12:34

    Strange that every time a government minister gets ill they go to a private hospital and not a state one!!!!

  • Freethinker - 2011-10-10 16:19

    So minister, perhaps you could explain to us how it came about that the private sector is the only supplier of quality healthcare in the country ? Consumers do not willingly pay high prices for a service that can be obtained elsewhere at a more reasonable cost. It just seems to me that government, having totally failed to provide decent healthcare to the population, now wants to force the private sector to take over their role, i.e. to provide quality healthcare on a non-profit basis. We won't call it nationalization of the private healthcare industry, we'll just call it NHI. The end result will probably be the same, though. By effectively forcing all consumers to pay the equivalent of their current private medical aid contributions into the NHI fund, the NHI becomes the new "super medical-aid", which can dictate pricing to the private sector. Nationalization by remote-control.

  • Freethinker - 2011-10-10 19:32

    If the DOH were serious about ending the "brutal system" all they need to do is upgrade the existing state facilities so that people would be prepared to use them. They know that full well, so really, all that the NHI is, is a wonderful opportunity for the politically connected tender fraudsters out there.

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-07-16 11:02

    If you do not have private health care the chances are that if you take sick etc your chances of not getting good and fast medical attention could end your life. Thats why people have to have a private medical aid. This is becoming brutal for all of us as the cost of such is becoming almost out of reach for us now. Pensioners are particular. This year our medical aid subscription is more than half our monthly income. We are still out of pocket every months as medical aid depletes our savings for pain meds that they wont accept as a chronic considition. Old people live in pain of some sort daily but it is not covered a a chronic condition. Next year when the medical aid ups it subscription, I will have to drop off and keep my husband covered as he is in more need of the help than me. I will have to hope nothiing big goes wrong and my pain I am currently experiencing will have to live with me. Old people who have been on the medical aid for many years should be helped by capping their subscription. We are not free riders. In actual fact if we contemplate moving to another medical aid I would take a bet that we will not be accepted......the reason, we would be discriminated against for our age. A large number of our friends have cover but like us are finding it increasingly hard to keep up our medical membership and we are finding that every year they medical makes us pay for more and more out of our pockets. We have no where to turn.

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