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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  10 Mar 2011

HEALTH: Public Participation Within Healthcare System Welcomed

 





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Finance Minister Pravin Gorhdon announced the need for collective participation within budgetary matters, during his budget speech on Thursday 24 February. While it’s unrealistic for this notion to effect public participation in many of the Government’s plans, it does indicate an important sentiment towards social responsibility and transparency.

Medical expenses are still a grudge purchase, despite an attempt to change public perception on this matter. As hospital and doctors fees continue to escalate year on year, this challenge looks set to remain. However planning for the future and making responsible decisions regarding healthcare will, according to Medshield Medical Scheme’s Executive Principal Officer, Duduza Khosana, be hugely beneficial to the consumer’s own personal budget.

South Africans who choose the right medical scheme option for their own and their family’s medical needs is a crucial step towards ensuring their own financial stability. Khosana comments, “While the exact options for private and public medical cover, once the NHI is implemented, are yet to be announced, obtaining cover now for any unforeseen medical circumstances remains a sensible move. “

Adequate healthcare for lower income groups has been on the national agenda for some time now. The private sector has made attempts to create healthcare options catering for the needs of this group, however the millions of South Africans not currently members of a medical scheme are in part, testament to the gap that remains. Medshield therefore welcomes the increase in public health expenditure, along with focused initiatives such as the launch of a family health scheme targeting rural areas.

Also presented by the Minister are plans to increase the number of people on treatment for HIV / AIDS from 1.2 million to 2.6 million for 2014. Once again, this challenge is not isolated to one entity. The various stakeholders within the healthcare arena can play an important role in a bid to alleviate this vast global challenge.

Khosana comments, “Adequate investment in prevention as well as treatment and support programs is crucial to any chance of reducing the occurrence of HIV / AIDS and related deaths in South Africa. Both the private and public sector have their part to play in meeting the healthcare needs of fellow South Africans, and the Minister’s commitment to this cause will hopefully effect positive spin-offs from other key stakeholders.”

Consultative processes that engage all South Africans – including members of the public and the healthcare profession, as well as medical service providers, medical schemes and regulatory bodies – provide the best chance of creating a system that works for all.


 
 
 
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