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NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE WHITE PAPER MAKES NO PROVISION FOR TRADITIONAL AND NATURAL HEALTHCARE

NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE WHITE PAPER MAKES NO PROVISION FOR TRADITIONAL & NATURAL HEALTHCARE

Aarmon Motasaledi

Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi

On the 11th of December last month, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi released the White Paper on the National Health Insurance (NHI) as approved by Cabinet.  The R220 billion universal healthcare scheme was announced immediately after the axing of Finance Minister Nene, who was putting a halt on major government spending. The burning question is how the NHI will be financed, considering the precarious and fragile state of our economy.

The TNHA have studied the White Paper and note that nowhere are Allied Health Practitioners, registered with the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa (AHPCSA) or Traditional Health Practitioners who will be registered with the Traditional Health Practitioners Council of South Africa (THPCSA) included in the universal health insurance disbursement scheme, effectively locking them out of the national healthcare system. The NHI is clearly a thinly disguised trap to drive the People into the endless cycle of pharma-drug “therapy”.

In paragraph 401 of the White Paper, the statement is made that: “In future, all medical schemes will only offer complementary cover for services that are not included in the national health service benefits and medicines approved by the NHI Benefits Advisory Committee. The cover provided by medical schemes must only complement (and not duplicate) the NHI service benefits.”

This effectively means that if you currently subscribe to a medical aid scheme which pays for visits to Allied Health Practitioners and for the medicines dispensed by them, you will no longer receive these benefits. This will also apply to Traditional Health Practitioners and their dispensed medicines. Patients will be forced to visit state hospitals or clinics for most ailments or diseases, and will have to accept drug therapy, or else they will have to consult traditional and natural health practitioners and pay for their consultations and non-drug treatments from their own pockets.

The TNHA are of the opinion that not providing citizens the right to access traditional and natural therapies will render the National Health Insurance scheme both unlawful and unconstitutional.  Although the Minister of Health has stated that the public will be afforded the right to comment on the White Paper, there is no official comment period stipulated in the paper itself.

The TNHA will be consulting with our alliance partners over the next weeks to formulate an official response.