Upcoming Free Health Insurance not to provide for luxuries

Photo caption: From the left: Free State Health MEC, Butana Komphela; National Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and Lesotho Health Minister, Dr Molotsi Monyamane at a meeting with various stakeholders in Bloemfontein on the National Health Insurance Plan. Image: Pulane Choane

National Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, says that the upcoming National Health Insurance (NHI) plan, will not cover cosmetic medical procedures or services to citizens.

The esteemed minister made a strong point in conveying that though the insurance plan will be free for all, it will provide only basic healthcare services. Other non-essential services will not be provided for.

One example he mentioned concerned prescription glasses, saying that even though the plan will be providing eyewear services, there will be strict qualifying criteria for what kind of frames members on the NHI plan will get under this plan.

Motsoaledi added that World Health Organisation provided the criteria for basic service delivery rendered by NHI. Motsoaledi was speaking at a  stakeholder meeting  on NHI discussions held at Bloem Spa Hotel in Bloemfontein.

He was accompanied by the Minister of Health from Lesotho as well as the Free State’s Health minister.

Other matters of discussion at the meeting mentioned by Motsoaledi was the nurse’s uniform and how it will be affected by the new insurance plan.

The national minister said that nurses wear whatever they want to and this must come to a  stop. He also stated that in many hospitals, though they all work for the department of health, many of the hospitals wear uniforms different to one another, which causes identification confusion as members of the public become unsure of which department or hospital the nurses and hospital staff are working for.

Motsoaledi said the same way that police officials uniforms are provided by the state, will now apply to nurses – as it used to happen in the past. He said the reason for this was that nurses receive nursing uniforms and end up using them for other things. He admitted that unions have threatened to strike if this should happen.

Motsoaledi said the state cannot afford to waste any more money on uniform allowances of nurses and  will henceforth (at a date to be announced), provide nurses with the same uniform. He also added that the uniform will be white in colour.

Pulane Choane/CourantNews