The National Health Insurance (NHI) bill draft published on the 21st of June 2019 have raised various concerns. These include limited resources such as medication, equipment and human labour, poor infrastructure, corruption, management and readiness among others.
Besides, a guarantee to make sure universal health coverage is reached will be to secure the NHI funds and this can be achieved by cleaning up the healthcare system from corruption. Corruption kills people and slows down the fight against diseases. As a result the overall performance of healthcare is affected. Therefore there is the need to make sure a link between healthcare outcomes and healthcare expenditure is established.
With this in mind, President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the Health Sector Anti-Corruption Forum (HSACF). HSACF will be a partnership between the government, law enforcement agencies, civil societies and health oversight bodies. The forum will:
- Receive whistleblower reports for fraud, corruption, abuse of power or abuse of state resources including any form of political interference.
- Recover all funds lost due to fraud and corruption including those done in the past.
- Keep a watch on the private healthcare sector to ensure they comply with regulations. Special attention will be zoomed on overpricing and overtreatment.
All stakeholders have signed terms of reference outlining the mutual support and cooperation they will lend towards the fight against fraud and corrupt practices in the healthcare sector. The stakeholders include: the Special Investigating Unit, the National Department of Health, the Council for Medical Schemes, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, the Financial Intelligence Centre, the Health Funders Association, the Health Professions Council of South Africa, Corruption Watch, the National Prosecutions Authority, Section 27 and the board of Healthcare Funders of Southern Africa.