Liberty Medical Scheme (LMS) fully supports the Social Compact recently signed by CEO’s of a number of leading healthcare companies in South Africa and the Health Ministry to strengthen much needed cooperation and collaboration between the private and public healthcare sectors, which in turn, should significantly improve South Africa’s ailing healthcare system and delivery.
“Since 1994, healthcare authorities, services providers and other role players, both in the public and private sector, have professed their support of, and commitment to a more equitable healthcare system for the country, with the emphasis on access, affordability and quality. However, cooperation between public and private sectors has not been optimised to this end, which is precisely what is needed for the successful roll-out of NHI.
“The signing of this Compact nearly 20 years on, is therefore to be lauded as a major step in this direction and bodes well for future cooperation between the two sectors in order to deliver on the promise of affordable, accessible quality care as envisaged through NHI,” says Liberty Medical Scheme Executive Principal Officer, Andrew Edwards.
“Indeed, ensuring that all citizens have access to affordable, quality healthcare is a momentous challenge facing the sector. It is for this reason that, instead of working separately and in silo’s, all role players and healthcare professionals should join forces and work together towards improving health outcomes in the country. Undeniably, any nation that can boast a strong healthcare sector is nation that has found its power,” says Edwards.
Collaboration betwis effective
He adds that cooperation and collaboration between the public and private healthcare sectors (Private Public Partnerships/PPPs) has proven effective in a number of countries with different challenges. “PPPs endeavour to improve healthcare delivery beyond the bare minimum while utilising empowerment opportunities arising from the expenditure. At the same time, great emphasis is placed on skills transfer and embedding management skills and clinical policies that ensure that the quality of care is maintained,” says Edwards.
According to a press statement on behalf of the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsolaedi, the Social Compact “symbolises an acceptance that no single sector, whether it be the public or private sector, can individually or successfully confront the immense health challenges.”
The Compact, which will be executed through the newly established Fund, called the South African Joint Public Health Enhancement Fund (SAJPHEF) aims to strengthen much needed collaboration between the private and public sectors through the co-operation of jointly selected health initiatives, which will be funded through the SAJPHEF.
Each participating private sector Health company will make a fixed annual contribution into the Fund in order to fund this initiative which will include the training of additional doctors, particularly students from resource constrained communities, creating further capacity to train additional healthcare professionals, building further management capacity and interventions in HIV/AIDS and TB.
Minister Motsoaledi predicts that the Social Compact will enable the joint efforts of the private and public sectors to make a severe dent into the quadruple burden of disease. “It is my hope that this Compact will propel us on a trajectory of a greater and deeper cooperation, not withstanding, any differences we might have at times and on specific issues,” Motsoaledi said.
(Press release, November 2012)
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