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Discovery Health rejects contentious NHI bill

Discovery Health says the National Health Insurance Bill -- in its current form -- will not make universal access to medical care possible.

JOHANNESBURG - There's been mixed reaction to the passing of the National Health Insurance Bill.

Discovery Health supports universal access to medical care.

But it says the National Health Insurance Bill -- in its current form -- will not make this possible.

READ: Phaahla: NHI Bill lays foundation for healthcare reform

CEO Ryan Noach says there has to be a drastic improvement of the health system first.

"We think it's unacceptable that there are many South Africans who simply don't have access that they deserve to high-quality healthcare.

"There is an inequality in the system in the private sector. In the private sector, we deliver very high-quality healthcare consistently.

READ: National Assembly passes National Health Insurance Bill

"We find that situation untenable and we have been calling for in support simultaneous reform in the public and private sectors," he said.

"We absolutely support an NHI. Our assertion is that this should not be on a monopolistic basis.

"The current draft act sets out that the NHI will be the only funder of most healthcare services say for a few top-up services and we think that a multi-funded or blended funding model would be far more pragmatic," Noach said. 

"In fact, we think it's fiscally much more feasible."

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