Today's Labour News

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healthcareBusinessLive reports that the Health Funders Association (HFA), a key industry group for medical schemes, says it is optimistic the new government of national unity (GNU) will offer scope to reconsider the controversial National Health Insurance (NHI) Act.

The HFA’s members, the biggest of which is Discovery Health Medical Scheme, provide cover to about half of SA’s 9-million medical scheme beneficiaries, The NHI Act encompasses sweeping health reforms aimed at achieving the ANC’s vision for universal health coverage. President Cyril Ramaphosa signed it into law two weeks before the general election on 29 May. However, none of its provisions have been brought into effect at this stage. HFA chair Craig Comrie commented: “Our optimism stems from the fact that there are lots of invitations to almost re-engage on the NHI. Maybe we will see a softening in terms of ... implementation or a rethink on more practical and realistic ways of implementing NHI. There is optimism (about) the new government and a change in the balance of power.” It is not yet clear whom Ramaphosa will appoint as ministers of health or finance, the two cabinet positions that will wield greatest influence over the future trajectory of NHI. Two legal challenges to the NHI Act are already in play, with several more expected soon to follow. Trade union Solidarity has taken aim at the legislation on constitutional grounds, while the Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF), an industry association for medical schemes and administrators, honed in on the president’s powers and responsibilities when legislation is considered.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Tamar Kahn at BusinessLive

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