Portfolio Committee on Health
2 September 2019 7:21 p.m.
Dear Portfolio Committee on Health,

As we are aware of our presidents remarks that Nordic countries are a model for national health care. Since Venezuela and Cuba's health care has collapsed so I guess the honourable President opted for the Scandinavia Countries.

So, first let me share some facts about the uniformed accuracy before providing a thought or two as solutions.

Ok, so let’s look at health care in the Nordic states. And what do we find? Those countries are moving toward more private health care.

Despite the “extremely generous programs” found in these nations, some “are seeing a steady growth of private health insurance,” Kevin Pham, a physician and health policy consultant wrote in the Daily Signal.

For instance, “between 2006 and 2016, the portion of the population covered by private insurance increased by 4% in Sweden, 7% in Norway, and 22% in Denmark.”

Though the increases in Sweden and Norway are modest, says Pham, they are “noteworthy, considering that most out-of-pocket payments have a relatively low annual limit.”

Underscoring just how inadequate public health care is in the Nordic states is the fact that the private plans in those countries “are mainly designed to supplement the government-run plan.” Private plans “guarantee prompt access to specialists or elective procedures, which the state plans often fail to provide,” says Pham.

Those relocating to other countries, advises readers moving to Sweden to “consider purchasing private health insurance” “in order to ensure you have all the cover(age) you need and to avoid some growing problems in the public sector.”

Medical care in Scandinavia is top-flight. That’s not in question. But access is.

“Swedes are frustrated over their universal healthcare, one of the main pillars of their cherished welfare state, with long waiting queues due to a shortage of nurses and available doctors in some areas and one of the fewest ratios of specialist in the EU,” Medical X Press reported last fall in a story headlined “Swedes enjoy world-class healthcare — when they get it.”

Pham says the growing interest in Europe in private health insurance is due to the “dissatisfaction with the state-run systems, which often provide poor or incomplete coverage and long wait times.”

“By contrast,” he adds, “private plans offer wider coverage, shorter wait times, access to private facilities, and more flexibility in patient choice.”

Finland isn’t a Scandinavian country, but it, too, is having trouble with its government-operated medical system, which provides care that is considered among the best in the world.

“Failure to reform the national health system has led the government to collapse in one of the most statist governments following the Nordic model,” the Acton Institute said in March. “Prime Minister Juha Sipilä of Finland and his cabinet members have resigned after failing to rein in the nation’s health care costs and provide greater competition. This comes as reports show private citizens in Finland increasingly turning to the free market to meet the shortfalls of the nationalized system.”

So here is a thought or two.

1) how about deregulation of health insurance (hospital and medical plans). In short allow more competition. Why need the to cover everything. A plan to cover 5 main conditions, another 10 etc this will reduce the price making it more affordable hence larger pool and reduce in pricing.

2) why don't we have a local pharmaceutical plant? As you are aware the government spend 1 billion rand on a plant with no dossiers to make medicine. This was a total waste and putting the trailer before the horse. Other have received huge government assistance not to make medicine but rather repackaging medicine. I hear of a start up trying to get funding that holds over 2100 dossiers of product. 20 percent are non-generic and first for Africa, including the only cure for hepatitis C. They plan to lower cost of medicine big time across the African continent.

I have added the website and email to the CEO maybe this could be a project worth actually funding!