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Please be assured that there is no need to panic or to take any action. Your membership of KeyHealth Medical Scheme and your benefits remain intact. However, many valid concerns have been raised and pertinent questions asked relating to medical scheme membership with the advent of National Health Insurance (NHI).

President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the NHI Bill into law on 15 May 2024. NHI is essentially a health financing system designed to pool financial resources to provide access to healthcare services for all South Africans based on their health needs, irrespective of their socio-economic status. It is important to note that medical schemes will continue to exist now and under NHI, albeit in a different form.

NHI legislation seeks to assist South Africa’s healthcare framework with the aim of realising universal health coverage and rectifying socio-economic disparities. However, complete implementation of this Act is anticipated to be long and drawn-out process. Possible litigation against certain prescripts of the NHI Bill may extend its roll-out and implementation beyond 2040.

It is important to note that, although KeyHealth Medical Scheme (like the majority of role players in the healthcare sector) supports the move towards universal healthcare coverage in South Africa (as declared by the World Health Organisation) and supports the expansion of access to quality healthcare, it does not support NHI in its current form as envisaged in the Act.

We do not believe that the NHI Act in its current form will achieve these important goals and objectives. The albatross of potential fraud and corruption within NHI is an area of huge concern that needs to be fully mitigated against by government putting in place effective controls and safeguards.

KeyHealth will continue to lobby for its members’ rights via its membership of the Board of Healthcare Funders. We welcome the President’s invitation for industry to engage further in this regard – an offer that we will take up with vigour.

We wish to assure members that there is no cause for alarm. Your membership and benefits with KeyHealth remain unaffected, and the Scheme remains committed to providing affordable, quality healthcare to its members.

We will keep you informed of developments.

 

Andrè Young
Chairman: KeyHealth Medical Scheme

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