Discovery responds to the NHI: medical aids aren’t going anywhere

Nerfherder

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Where do I even start?!
See... you can formulate opinions and make logical arguments :)
People will still have medical savings because there are bound to be extra costs even after NHI.
No they will have to resort to REAL savings account to save up for when they are sick and have to pay cash for instant access to (good) doctors and specialists. Nobody will pay money towards Medical aid savings as it will be pointless....

As long as there is a tax benefit people will keep those savings accounts.
No, the tax rebates is the first thing that will be removed to help fund the NHI. They clearly list it in their funding model.
So yes, that tax break will fall away at some point but not yet and only when they are able to support everyone on the NHI. Even if they do Discovery can make their savings account more competitive (they really should) anyway I think the reason its not is because of the conflict with the tax break. Once the tax break is gone they will give you interest as well as the other benefits linked to Vitality. They will keep the product alive.
The insurance part (hospital plan) is what is going to fall away. This R500-R1000 per person you pay will now be tax and hopefully cover a LOT more than what you would get on Discovery.
LOL. Yes and the sky is made from marshmallows. The word "hopefully" duly noted. :p
As stated before they currently serve most of the country like this, you get way more than what you get on a hospital plan... granted its at state hospital.
The NHI is going to reduce the cost of care so its entirely possible you would get a LOT more than what you would currently get on a hospital plan. Weather that is sustainable is up for debate.

There is still a gap there for Discovery to cover the gaps between what the NHI provide and what people have to pay.
The idea of NHI is to cover much more than current government health care. And NHI and the planned revised bill on medical aids will restrict medical aid coverage to only what is not covered on NHI...and this will most likely be limited to cosmetical health costs..
and when people see what is considered "cosmetic" they will get extra cover.
 

noxibox

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I doubt that NHI will result in lower costs and if it does it will probably come at the cost of quality.

For the majority I wouldn't be surprised if there is an overall rise in quality, but the average middle class person is going to see a drop, while the wealthy will be able to pay for whatever they need.

Remember they have a small margin on what they provide. So I pay Discovery 6k a month to cover my family but the bulk of that is medical savings (3-4k) and the rest is an insurance policy.
A basic hospital plan is around R4,000 for a family of four.

People will still have medical savings because there are bound to be extra costs even after NHI. As long as there is a tax benefit people will keep those savings accounts.
There is currently no tax benefit from medical savings accounts. I also see no point in a medical savings account when the money can be put into an account that will earn a better rate and the medical aid won't be able to dictate what it can be used for or how much they're willing to pay a doctor from it. Medical savings only makes sense for people who are going to spend a whole lot of money early in the year during their first year of membership or regularly need a whole lot of money upfront every year.

The insurance part (hospital plan) is what is going to fall away. This R500-R1000 per person you pay will now be tax and hopefully cover a LOT more than what you would get on Discovery. There is still a gap there for Discovery to cover the gaps between what the NHI provide and what people have to pay.
I don't see how the government is going to be able to afford private hospitals for everyone or how the private hospitals would handle the load even if the government can pay. I can imagine a scenario in which the private hospitals agree to lower fees, but lower quality and increase volume to maintain their profits.

Gap cover already exists to cover the gaps in payment.

I think Discovery is right that there will still be a place for medical aids, but the ordinary wage slave is not going to be able to afford their payment to NHI and medical aid. Discovery themselves will probably continue to make good money, and will reduce staff to help them do so.

Weak willed corporates like Discovery will be the death to South Africa.

They are one of the few groups that can stand up to the bullying of government, but here they are kowtowing to the nationalisation of healthcare.
Why would Discovery care if they believe they can carry on making money?
 

Nerfherder

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I doubt that NHI will result in lower costs and if it does it will probably come at the cost of quality.

For the majority I wouldn't be surprised if there is an overall rise in quality, but the average middle class person is going to see a drop, while the wealthy will be able to pay for whatever they need.


A basic hospital plan is around R4,000 for a family of four.
Sounds right... was 3+ last time I looked but has probably gone up.

There is currently no tax benefit from medical savings accounts. I also see no point in a medical savings account when the money can be put into an account that will earn a better rate and the medical aid won't be able to dictate what it can be used for or how much they're willing to pay a doctor from it. Medical savings only makes sense for people who are going to spend a whole lot of money early in the year during their first year of membership or regularly need a whole lot of money upfront every year.
I get tax back on a single amount that I pay to Discovery. I don't see SARS breaking it down in to savings and hospital plan. I know its capped though so you can't just dump money into that account.

I don't see how the government is going to be able to afford private hospitals for everyone or how the private hospitals would handle the load even if the government can pay. I can imagine a scenario in which the private hospitals agree to lower fees, but lower quality and increase volume to maintain their profits.
This is the entire point of the NHI - to reduce costs from end to end. They will try and reduce costs at every level so will negotiate medicine prices with the pharm companies and detangle some of the corruption that makes specialist and private practices so expensive.
if you look at the difference between what the government spend on public healthcare and what the medical aids provide there is a massive gap... and probably a nice middle ground. The trick will be to get that right.


Gap cover already exists to cover the gaps in payment.

I think Discovery is right that there will still be a place for medical aids, but the ordinary wage slave is not going to be able to afford their payment to NHI and medical aid. Discovery themselves will probably continue to make good money, and will reduce staff to help them do so.

Why would Discovery care if they believe they can carry on making money?
They have money, quite a bit

https://www.discovery.co.za/assets/discoverycoza/medical-aid/annual-reports-and-financials/highlights-of-dhms-financial-results-2018.pdf

If everyone just left right now they would still have money for quite a while.
 

diapason

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Remember they have a small margin on what they provide. So I pay Discovery 6k a month to cover my family but the bulk of that is medical savings (3-4k) and the rest is an insurance policy.
By law, the savings may not be more than 25% of the total contribution. You may want to check your calculations.
 

maumau

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or participating private hospitals.
There will be agreed upon rates and levels of service - just like they do with medical aids now.
Well Discovery recently paid R397.70 towards a R1340 account - their rate for a gynaecologist - BUT they couldn't advise me one in a 20km radius - tough titty for me :(

Looks like hospital is going to be just wonderful /s
 

chrisc

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THE NHI AND THE TALE OF TWO HOSPITALS

BY AFRIFORUM | AUG 8, 2019

By Dr Eugene Brink, Strategic Advisor for Community Affairs at AfriForum

I recently visited two hospitals in a farming town in rural Limpopo as part of AfriForum’s watchdog role on health matters. These hospitals – one private and the other public – are located close to each other, and yet my experience of both couldn’t be more starkly divergent. In Charles Dickens’ parlance, it was “a tale of two hospitals”.

At the private hospital we were greeted with initial scepticism (granted, civil society doesn’t often make impromptu visits to any of the hospitals in the area), which quickly switched to amicable engagement and candour. The security guards at the gate immediately knew who we should meet with and were helpful in every aspect. One of the managers took us on a comprehensive tour of the hospital. We didn’t have to ask to see anything specific and they obviously had nothing to hide. Everything is impeccably maintained, members of staff are courteous, knowledgeable and professional, and a few patients we spoke to were all very satisfied with the service they received at the hospital.

In the discussion I had with the CEO of the private hospital, he raised some challenges that I had encountered in discussions at other private hospitals as well. After submitting an application in 2017 to enlarge the hospital to accommodate more beds and specialist services, they are yet to receive any feedback from the provincial department of health. They have already purchased additional land – the extra demand certainly exists, and the hospital is willing to take on the risk. Unfortunately the government is slow in approving something which would be an immense boon to the community and local economy. In fact, more beds, doctors and specialists are a necessity for the future health needs in this particular town and the surrounding towns. Moreover, even though it is a private institution, this hospital bears the significant burden of additional patients when the public hospital’s staff are on strike – and even when they are not.

Following this, we drove to the public hospital a few blocks away and the contrast was immediately noticeable. The hospital’s entrance looks dilapidated and we were confronted by several scowling, gruff guards. Why there were so many guards to do menial tasks – whilst the entrance looked so doleful – is open to debate and a serious question. We were treated with nothing but hostility and incredulity. The first guard I encountered was extremely brusque and right off the bat wanted to know with whom I have an appointment. I could have been a patient, but he didn’t seem to care. After I told him who I am and that I’d merely like to have a look around the hospital, he treated me with even more suspicion and searched my car several times. After this, he escorted a colleague and myself to the human resource (HR) department (why he did that, we still don’t know) and made us wait at several other places, giving us stern instructions “to wait here”. In short, he didn’t seem to know what he was doing and wasn’t conversant with protocol he should be familiar with by now. At each point a new person came out with a different feeble (even absurd) excuse as to why we cannot view the hospital.

In the end, we left without seeing most parts of the hospital, but we saw enough to make our skins crawl. Grubby floors, broken windows (some of them unsuccessfully taped shut with plastic and insulation tape), a horrible stench, long patient queues and lackadaisical staff are the name of the game at this hospital. A local doctor and pharmacist I spoke to earlier that day said you are unlikely to even receive antibiotics at this hospital. This is what our tax money is going towards and we – as taxpayers – are not even allowed to walk around and observe the hospital.

The security guard watched and followed us closely as we drove through the boom to leave. As I drove away, I couldn’t help but think about how this hospital is of everything that is wrong with the South African government and its institutions. The abundance of workers who are not needed and a paucity of those who are; tremendous decay and rot; a complete lack of maintenance; viewing the public as enemies and servants rather than human beings to be served and accommodated; a total lack of accountability and transparency – the list goes on and on.
And, of course, I mulled over how the National Health Insurance (NHI) will be implemented in view of all that is wrong with public hospitals such as this one. In this particular town, one currently still has choices as far as medical treatment goes. People drive many kilometres past a myriad of public hospitals and clinics to visit this private hospital. But if the private health sector is nationalised (which is what the NHI ultimately boils down to), we will all be left with no choice but to make use of public institutions. Those that can, will emigrate and leave an ever-shrinking pool of taxpayers behind to fund the NHI nightmare.

Yet again, these two case studies impressed some lessons upon me: Leave the private sector alone to care for those that can pay and voluntarily seek their treatment, and vastly improve the public health sector to properly cater for the needs of the poor. It’s an absolute shame and tragedy the ANC doesn’t see it this way.
 

Nerfherder

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Well Discovery recently paid R397.70 towards a R1340 account - their rate for a gynaecologist - BUT they couldn't advise me one in a 20km radius - tough titty for me :(

Looks like hospital is going to be just wonderful /s
Which is one of my points - its going to be the same thing for most people.

if you just have a hospital plan now it should be better. If you have nothing it should be much better.
If you pay a lot for your current medical aid - it should be cheaper at least, with less co-payments.
 

Nerfherder

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Messages
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THE NHI AND THE TALE OF TWO HOSPITALS

BY AFRIFORUM | AUG 8, 2019

By Dr Eugene Brink, Strategic Advisor for Community Affairs at AfriForum

I recently visited two hospitals in a farming town in rural Limpopo as part of AfriForum’s watchdog role on health matters. These hospitals – one private and the other public – are located close to each other, and yet my experience of both couldn’t be more starkly divergent. In Charles Dickens’ parlance, it was “a tale of two hospitals”.

At the private hospital we were greeted with initial scepticism (granted, civil society doesn’t often make impromptu visits to any of the hospitals in the area), which quickly switched to amicable engagement and candour. The security guards at the gate immediately knew who we should meet with and were helpful in every aspect. One of the managers took us on a comprehensive tour of the hospital. We didn’t have to ask to see anything specific and they obviously had nothing to hide. Everything is impeccably maintained, members of staff are courteous, knowledgeable and professional, and a few patients we spoke to were all very satisfied with the service they received at the hospital.

In the discussion I had with the CEO of the private hospital, he raised some challenges that I had encountered in discussions at other private hospitals as well. After submitting an application in 2017 to enlarge the hospital to accommodate more beds and specialist services, they are yet to receive any feedback from the provincial department of health. They have already purchased additional land – the extra demand certainly exists, and the hospital is willing to take on the risk. Unfortunately the government is slow in approving something which would be an immense boon to the community and local economy. In fact, more beds, doctors and specialists are a necessity for the future health needs in this particular town and the surrounding towns. Moreover, even though it is a private institution, this hospital bears the significant burden of additional patients when the public hospital’s staff are on strike – and even when they are not.

Following this, we drove to the public hospital a few blocks away and the contrast was immediately noticeable. The hospital’s entrance looks dilapidated and we were confronted by several scowling, gruff guards. Why there were so many guards to do menial tasks – whilst the entrance looked so doleful – is open to debate and a serious question. We were treated with nothing but hostility and incredulity. The first guard I encountered was extremely brusque and right off the bat wanted to know with whom I have an appointment. I could have been a patient, but he didn’t seem to care. After I told him who I am and that I’d merely like to have a look around the hospital, he treated me with even more suspicion and searched my car several times. After this, he escorted a colleague and myself to the human resource (HR) department (why he did that, we still don’t know) and made us wait at several other places, giving us stern instructions “to wait here”. In short, he didn’t seem to know what he was doing and wasn’t conversant with protocol he should be familiar with by now. At each point a new person came out with a different feeble (even absurd) excuse as to why we cannot view the hospital.

In the end, we left without seeing most parts of the hospital, but we saw enough to make our skins crawl. Grubby floors, broken windows (some of them unsuccessfully taped shut with plastic and insulation tape), a horrible stench, long patient queues and lackadaisical staff are the name of the game at this hospital. A local doctor and pharmacist I spoke to earlier that day said you are unlikely to even receive antibiotics at this hospital. This is what our tax money is going towards and we – as taxpayers – are not even allowed to walk around and observe the hospital.

The security guard watched and followed us closely as we drove through the boom to leave. As I drove away, I couldn’t help but think about how this hospital is of everything that is wrong with the South African government and its institutions. The abundance of workers who are not needed and a paucity of those who are; tremendous decay and rot; a complete lack of maintenance; viewing the public as enemies and servants rather than human beings to be served and accommodated; a total lack of accountability and transparency – the list goes on and on.
And, of course, I mulled over how the National Health Insurance (NHI) will be implemented in view of all that is wrong with public hospitals such as this one. In this particular town, one currently still has choices as far as medical treatment goes. People drive many kilometres past a myriad of public hospitals and clinics to visit this private hospital. But if the private health sector is nationalised (which is what the NHI ultimately boils down to), we will all be left with no choice but to make use of public institutions. Those that can, will emigrate and leave an ever-shrinking pool of taxpayers behind to fund the NHI nightmare.

Yet again, these two case studies impressed some lessons upon me: Leave the private sector alone to care for those that can pay and voluntarily seek their treatment, and vastly improve the public health sector to properly cater for the needs of the poor. It’s an absolute shame and tragedy the ANC doesn’t see it this way.
While there are many situations like this around the country - its not always the case. In the Western Cape you could end up at a government hospital because most private hospitals don't have the facilities that some of the better Government Hospitals.

Private healthcare is bloated and corrupt, its not the picture of quality they present there.
We can't leave private helthcare alone because its bankrupting us.
 

SeRpEnT

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Messages
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THE NHI AND THE TALE OF TWO HOSPITALS

BY AFRIFORUM | AUG 8, 2019

By Dr Eugene Brink, Strategic Advisor for Community Affairs at AfriForum

I recently visited two hospitals in a farming town in rural Limpopo as part of AfriForum’s watchdog role on health matters. These hospitals – one private and the other public – are located close to each other, and yet my experience of both couldn’t be more starkly divergent. In Charles Dickens’ parlance, it was “a tale of two hospitals”.

At the private hospital we were greeted with initial scepticism (granted, civil society doesn’t often make impromptu visits to any of the hospitals in the area), which quickly switched to amicable engagement and candour. The security guards at the gate immediately knew who we should meet with and were helpful in every aspect. One of the managers took us on a comprehensive tour of the hospital. We didn’t have to ask to see anything specific and they obviously had nothing to hide. Everything is impeccably maintained, members of staff are courteous, knowledgeable and professional, and a few patients we spoke to were all very satisfied with the service they received at the hospital.

In the discussion I had with the CEO of the private hospital, he raised some challenges that I had encountered in discussions at other private hospitals as well. After submitting an application in 2017 to enlarge the hospital to accommodate more beds and specialist services, they are yet to receive any feedback from the provincial department of health. They have already purchased additional land – the extra demand certainly exists, and the hospital is willing to take on the risk. Unfortunately the government is slow in approving something which would be an immense boon to the community and local economy. In fact, more beds, doctors and specialists are a necessity for the future health needs in this particular town and the surrounding towns. Moreover, even though it is a private institution, this hospital bears the significant burden of additional patients when the public hospital’s staff are on strike – and even when they are not.

Following this, we drove to the public hospital a few blocks away and the contrast was immediately noticeable. The hospital’s entrance looks dilapidated and we were confronted by several scowling, gruff guards. Why there were so many guards to do menial tasks – whilst the entrance looked so doleful – is open to debate and a serious question. We were treated with nothing but hostility and incredulity. The first guard I encountered was extremely brusque and right off the bat wanted to know with whom I have an appointment. I could have been a patient, but he didn’t seem to care. After I told him who I am and that I’d merely like to have a look around the hospital, he treated me with even more suspicion and searched my car several times. After this, he escorted a colleague and myself to the human resource (HR) department (why he did that, we still don’t know) and made us wait at several other places, giving us stern instructions “to wait here”. In short, he didn’t seem to know what he was doing and wasn’t conversant with protocol he should be familiar with by now. At each point a new person came out with a different feeble (even absurd) excuse as to why we cannot view the hospital.

In the end, we left without seeing most parts of the hospital, but we saw enough to make our skins crawl. Grubby floors, broken windows (some of them unsuccessfully taped shut with plastic and insulation tape), a horrible stench, long patient queues and lackadaisical staff are the name of the game at this hospital. A local doctor and pharmacist I spoke to earlier that day said you are unlikely to even receive antibiotics at this hospital. This is what our tax money is going towards and we – as taxpayers – are not even allowed to walk around and observe the hospital.

The security guard watched and followed us closely as we drove through the boom to leave. As I drove away, I couldn’t help but think about how this hospital is of everything that is wrong with the South African government and its institutions. The abundance of workers who are not needed and a paucity of those who are; tremendous decay and rot; a complete lack of maintenance; viewing the public as enemies and servants rather than human beings to be served and accommodated; a total lack of accountability and transparency – the list goes on and on.
And, of course, I mulled over how the National Health Insurance (NHI) will be implemented in view of all that is wrong with public hospitals such as this one. In this particular town, one currently still has choices as far as medical treatment goes. People drive many kilometres past a myriad of public hospitals and clinics to visit this private hospital. But if the private health sector is nationalised (which is what the NHI ultimately boils down to), we will all be left with no choice but to make use of public institutions. Those that can, will emigrate and leave an ever-shrinking pool of taxpayers behind to fund the NHI nightmare.

Yet again, these two case studies impressed some lessons upon me: Leave the private sector alone to care for those that can pay and voluntarily seek their treatment, and vastly improve the public health sector to properly cater for the needs of the poor. It’s an absolute shame and tragedy the ANC doesn’t see it this way.

The guavamint know all too well that NHI will force private hospitals to accept their (anticipated lower) contract pricing or shut down as there will be a large reduction of private non NHI patients.
In the end most of the private hospitals will have to continue and accept NHI pricing and go with the flow. They wont have much of a choice. I am doubtful that quality and standards will remain the same though....
 

SeRpEnT

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While there are many situations like this around the country - its not always the case. In the Western Cape you could end up at a government hospital because most private hospitals don't have the facilities that some of the better Government Hospitals.

Private healthcare is bloated and corrupt, its not the picture of quality they present there.
We can't leave private helthcare alone because its bankrupting us.
Jirre Nerfhrder you seem totally stuck up the NIH's arse hey.
The amount of bantha fodder you come up with is sickening. :sick:
 

SeRpEnT

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Messages
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While there are many situations like this around the country - its not always the case. In the Western Cape you could end up at a government hospital because most private hospitals don't have the facilities that some of the better Government Hospitals.

Private healthcare is bloated and corrupt, its not the picture of quality they present there.
We can't leave private helthcare alone because its bankrupting us.
Source? Pls provide details.
:popcorn:
 

Nerfherder

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Source? Pls provide details.
:popcorn:

There are somethings that you can only have done at a hospital like Red Cross or GSH.

So let me word it better: Most things can be done well at private hospitals but the top doctors are academics at the state teaching hospitals. They attend private practice on the side but spend way more time keeping the state institutions running.

A good example is Baragwaneth. Most of us wouldn't go there but its able to handle a disaster better than any hospital on the continent. I wont say the world but everyone sends doctors there for proper emergency med training. There is no private facility or even group that could match what they can do at that hospital.

We need more hospitals that can function on that level. Its running at full capacity all the time while private ICU's are mostly empty with a few saps sleeping over to keep the money coming in (obvious exaggeration, I know)

The guys that ran Milpark run Bara (this may have changed). And while most of us will happily take the Milpark option, their best doctors spend more time further south.
 

Nerfherder

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The guavamint know all too well that NHI will force private hospitals to accept their (anticipated lower) contract pricing or shut down as there will be a large reduction of private non NHI patients.
In the end most of the private hospitals will have to continue and accept NHI pricing and go with the flow. They wont have much of a choice. I am doubtful that quality and standards will remain the same though....
They are businesses - they will adjust.

I still believe that private healthcare will carry on and these hospitals will service both markets.
 
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