MAJOR CHANGES INITIATED IN THE HEALTHCARE SECTOR – TWO BILLS PUBLISHED FOR PUBLIC COMMENT
The Minister of Health published the draft Medical Schemes Amendment Bill, 2018 and the National Health Insurance Bill, 2018 on 21 June 2018 for broader public comment.
The Medical Schemes Amendment Bill, 2018, aims to, among other things, amend the Medical Schemes Act, 1998, by:
- excluding the application of the Consumer Protection Act, 2008;
- extending the functions of the Council for Medical Schemes (Council);
- inserting a new section 8A in terms of which the Council may require information from medical schemes concerning the services rendered by healthcare providers to beneficiaries;
- creating a Central Beneficiary Register;
- inserting a new chapter to deal with the various requirements applicable in determining the contributions payable to a medical scheme by its members;
- empowering the Council to determine broker fees from time to time and define the circumstances in which a medical scheme may receive payment of broker fees due by its members to a broker; and
- declaring that the carrying on of the business of a medical scheme by a person not registered as a medical scheme to be a separate offence and to prescribe the criminal penalties that may be imposed on persons convicted of that offence.
The National Health Insurance Bill, 2018, aims to, “provide mandatory prepayment health care services in the Republic in pursuance of section 27 of the Constitution; to establish a National Health Insurance Fund and to set out its powers, functions and governance structures; to provide a framework for the active purchasing of health care services by the Fund on behalf of users; to create mechanisms for the equitable, effective and efficient utilisation of the resources of the Fund to meet the health needs of users; to preclude or limit undesirable, unethical and unlawful practices in relation to the Fund and its users; and to provide for matters connected herewith”.
Click here for a copy of the Medical Schemes Amendment Bill, 2018 and here for a copy of the National Health Insurance Bill, 2018.
The period provided for public comment is three months from 21 June 2018.
Comments on the two Bills can be sent to:
Dr Anban Pillay
Deputy Director-General: National Health Insurance
Private Bag X 828
For more information please contact David Geral or Deirdre Phillips.