Lack of private GP buy-in is the Achilles heel of NHI

AFTER three years of laying the groundwork for the introduction of National Health Insurance (NHI), Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has run into a major stumbling block: the private-sector general practitioners (GPs), whose services will be essential to scale up the provision of health services at public facilities, simply do not want to work in his clinics. Fewer than 200 of the 8,000 GPs working in private practice have agreed to work in public clinics since the NHI pilot programme was launched in 11 of SA’s 53 health districts in April 2012, despite a national roadshow by Motsoaledi to talk up the benefits of the project. While more GPs have shown a willingness to work for the state in their own consulting rooms, the Department of Health has balked at the prospect, fearing it will not be able to exercise proper oversight…..more

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