MEDICAL aid service provider Cimas has said the universal health coverage idea is long overdue.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), universal health coverage means all people have access to the full range of quality health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship.
It covers the full continuum of essential health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care.
But Cimas CEO Vulindlela Ndlovu, on Thursday last week, told an In Conversation with Trevor Ideas Festival conference in Nyanga, that one did not need to have money to be treated.
“Yesterday, I had a meeting where I gave an update about this national health insurance and what it means for us. So, the trump card for medical aid in South Africa is we will win this thing in court.
“This is something that for us, universal health coverage, for me in particular, it is an idea whose time is long overdue. You know, everybody has got the right to health. You don't have to have money to be treated.
“You know, as a society, let's fix that. Yes, the government must pay for us. Yes, it’s the responsibility of the government. But for me, as a player in the healthcare sector, it is also my responsibility to find a solution,” he said.
As an example, Ndlovu said, medical aid societies were not comfortable with an upcoming national health insurance scheme raising fears that it will push them out of business.
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Other fears are that the entry schemes were going to be expensive with the narrative being to lower the prescribed minimum benefits and cover certain people at a certain level.
“I am ashamed that as an industry we do that. That, there is basic care, there's this care, it's just one package for everybody, you know.
“So that the trump card there is, you go to court. We are going to win this, because this is impinging on my freedom because the guy that stays Kaya Lami does not want to be told that for any replacement go to Barakula, he wants to go to a fancy hospital.
“And the trump card in South Africa is we will go to court and they will probably win it in court. Now, look at this. These things happen. We look at what’s happening. So, it is going to come here.
“Personally, I welcome that we are having this discussion on National Health Insurance in Zimbabwe, which I understand that the current government has put that on the agenda and as a player, I’m willing to contribute to that contribution,” he said
Cabinet recently approved principles for the development of the National Health Insurance Scheme in an effort to make universal health coverage a reality.
The National Health Insurance Scheme seeks to ensure that health services are accessible to all citizens, pursuant to section 76 of the Constitution, which stipulates that every citizen and permanent resident of Zimbabwe hass the right to have access to basic healthcare services.