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Council for Medical Schemes Levies Drawn Up

November 23, 2021

Department of Health

Proposed Council for Medical Schemes levies have been drawn up.

The health department published the proposed levies in Government Gazette 45500 in terms of the Council for Medical Schemes Levies Act for comment.

The proposed levies are designed to meet the general regulatory and administrative costs of the Council for Medical Schemes and the function performed by the Registrar of Medical Schemes.

The proposed levy for 2022/23 on medical schemes is set at R44.06 per principal member per year.

Comment on the proposed levy is invited until 10 December 2021.

Meanwhile, the department, during a briefing to the national council of provinces on its 2020/21 Annual Report, declared that the Draft Policy on Traditional Medicine to the Interim Traditional Health Practitioners Council (ITHPC) will be published for public comment and will also be presented to the ITHPC during the current stage of consultations.

The department added that the presentation of the policy to the ITHPC could not be done due to the absence of the Council as the term of office of the previous ITHPC had lapsed.

The appointment of a new Council is awaited.

The department also pointed out that it will attend the public hearings on the National Health Insurance Bill in parliament once they resume.

The bill was tabled in parliament in August 2019.

The bill aims to:

• achieve universal access to quality health care services in the Republic in accordance with section 27 of the Constitution;
• establish a National Health Insurance Fund and to set out its powers, functions and governance structures;
• provide a framework for the strategic purchasing of health care services by the Fund on behalf of users;
• create mechanisms for the equitable, effective and efficient utilisation of the resources of the Fund to meet the health needs of the population;
• preclude or limit undesirable, unethical and unlawful practices in relation to the Fund and its users; and
• provide for matters connected herewith.

The bill flows from the National Health Insurance (NHI) White Paper, published in June 2017.

It sets out government’s proposals to put a universal health coverage system in place.

The NHI aims to pool funds to provide access to quality and affordable health services for all South Africans based on their health needs and irrespective of their socio-economic status.

It is described as representing a substantial policy shift that will require a significant re-organisation of the current health care system, both private and public.

The vision is that health care should be regarded as a social investment and not subjected to market forces.

The NHI Fund will purchase health care services for all users who are registered with the Fund.

The White Paper focused on structural problems in the health sector, the burden of disease, the rationale and benefits of NHI, NHI coverage, organisation of the health care system and services under the NHI, financing of NHI, purchasing of health services and phased implementation.

The portfolio committee on health has been conducting public hearings on the bill this year.

The department also announced that a policy and legal framework to manage medico-legal claims in South Africa has been drafted.