How will NHI affect my practice? Workshop seeks answers.

Chris Bateman


To capitalise on the impending national health insurance (NHI) system, private doctors need to change their mindsets from fee-for-service to capitation, sharpen up business models, practise preventive medicine in groups and outsource some office functions.
No matter what the final NHI model looks like, they will ‘remain in the game’, provided they’re willing to change from a ‘lone-ranger’ culture to partnerships where cost analyses and clinical excellence keep both patients in their client drainage area and their bank balances healthy.
These were the key messages from an eclectic mix of relevant professionals who made presentations at a private sector workshop touring the Cape Peninsula last month aimed at equipping future NHI-accredited doctors with appropriate knowledge. Entitled ‘The business of medicine in preparation for the NHI’, and put together by CPC/Qualicare, Novartis and Sanlam, the presenters included a top labour lawyer, two management consultants, a human resources management trainer and an accountant.
Len Deacon, former principal officer of Anglo American’s medical scheme/turned independent consultant, referring to the impending sea-change, quoted Einstein to illustrate the impasse in equitable health care delivery and the adaptation needed. ‘You cannot solve the problems we have today with the mindset that existed when they were created.’

Author's affiliations

Chris Bateman, HMPG

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national health insurance, private practice

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2010;100(6):350-352.

Article History

Date submitted: 2010-05-05
Date published: 2010-06-01

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