JOHANNESBURG - Substantially limiting the role of medical schemes while implementing a planned national health insurance would be counterproductive as there are insufficient resources to meet the needs of all South Africans, financial services group Discovery said on Friday.
The government tabled the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill in parliament last week, saying it wanted to ensure affordable quality healthcare to all South Africans, but critics say it will collapse the sector.
On Friday, Discovery said the publication of the bill created an important opportunity for collaboration between the department of health and the private healthcare sector to ensure that the assets, skills and experience available in the private healthcare system were maximally leveraged to ensure the success of the NHI roll out.
"Discovery supports the drive towards ensuring that all South Africans have access to quality health services based on need rather than affordability," it said.
"Our view is that substantially limiting the role of medical schemes would be counterproductive to the NHI because there are simply insufficient resources to meet the needs of all South Africans – this is an unavoidable reality."