Private docs called on to work at state clinics
Cape Town -
The SA Medical Association (Sama) has welcomed a call by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi for private doctors to work at state clinics, but warned that such service would not come cheap.
This week, Motsoaledi asked doctors in the Western Cape to set aside at least four hours a week to work in public clinics in the Eden District as part of the National Health Insurance (NHI).
Motsoaledi told the Cape Argus he had met about 75 general practitioners in the region who had voiced support for his proposal.
“We have asked doctors to give up a minimum of four hours a week to patients in these clinics. We understand that many patients in the public sector don’t have medical schemes or cash to pay for these services privately, so we are saying to doctors come to our clinics and offer such services and the state will pay you. This will be completely voluntary,” he said.
Motsoaledi said putting doctors in clinics would not only ease pressure on state doctors, allowing them to remain in hospitals, but was also a “test run” ahead of the NHI rollout, which would forge working links between contracted public and private providers.
But Sama has expressed concerns about the technicalities of NHI, saying it was unclear how much doctors would be paid for their services.