‘Our way’ Part 1 Medical Costs

Why does South Africa always seem to get it back to front?  Why is that when our society invest fortunes in critical sectors of the economy (such as medicine and education) outcomes are always so dismal?

Part of the reason is that we insist on doing it our way instead of adopting best possible practices.

To illustrate the point, take the high medical costs we have to bear.  Government’s response is to introduce legislation that will effectively allow government to regulate prices that medical practitioners can charge.  No cognisance is given to the costs medical practitioners face and have to cover in order to practice, from the costs of education and training to the costs of premises and labour and equipment and supplies.  “No No No – that is unfair criticism” government would argue.

The point the Direct Democracy Forum wish to make here is that by selectively applying price control without controlling prices of the entire supply chain we will merely drive even more of South Africa’s practitioners to foreign lands than we already have.  Just what we most need when the high costs of medical services are a result of the under-supply of medical resources.

Contrast that with the DDF‘s approach. 

  • The DDF will actively encourage members of the profession to remain in South Africa and encourage those practicing elsewhere to return to the country.
  • The DDF will ensure the supply chain is properly resourced so the medical profession can practice their profession properly, professionally and profitably, to the maximum benefit of their patients.  
  • The DDF will target an optimal balance of resources and personnel so as to benefit both the supply side and the demand side for the profession.
  • The DDF will encourage the integration of the public and private health care service providers so as to raise the standards of the public health care sector to those available in the private  sector, without penalising  the private health care sector.
  • DDF Health Care Policies will make it profitable for the private sector to become actively and voluntarily involved in the public health care sector.

Additionally, and as a matter of urgency, the DDF will stop the practice of renewing patents on medical drugs and supplies beyond that reasonably necessary to protect the genuine commercial interests and cover genuine development costs of drug and supplies developers.  In that respect, the DDF will adopt the best practices adopted internationally.

Taken together these policies will have the effect of opening the market to fair competition and provide more practitioners, generic drugs and supplies than are presently available and significantly reduce the costs of medical treatment to all sectors of society.

The buck stops at the ballot box.