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We have looked around to find the best medical insurance cover which satisfies the above criteria. It only take a few seconds to complete the inquiry form above and we will take the fuss and  hassle out of it and we will contact you.








Patient found dead in hospital ceiling

Paarl – The body of a 61-year-old man has been found in the ceiling of a hospital in Stellenbosch – two weeks after he underwent surgery at the facility, the Western Cape health department has confirmed.

According to provincial health department spokesperson Mark van der Heever, the man was admitted to Stellenbosch Hospital, Cape Town on October 5 and underwent abdominal surgery.

However, he disappeared after a nurse, who had been attending to him, left to fetch clean linen.

A search party and the South African Police Services (SAPS) were unable to find him.

“Sadly, the patient’s body was discovered 13 days later in an isolated area in the ceiling, which is difficult to reach. There is currently construction work being carried out at the hospital which also contributed to the difficulty of the search. The circumstances relating to how the patient got access to the ceiling are currently being investigated,” Van der Heever said in a statement.

The department has conveyed its condolences to the family and is expected to meet with them once an autopsy report has been released. The report will be discussed with the family.

The family has been offered trauma and counselling services.


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Vital clinic in Eastern Cape has only 1 doctor twice a month

Close to eight villages in Nxarhuni outside Mdantsane in East London depend on Newlands Clinic. But the clinic has only one doctor who comes in twice a month, according to a GroundUp report.

A clinic committee member who did not want to be named said: “The doctor comes on the first Monday of the month, then skips a week and comes again on [the next] Monday.”

Community members complained to GroundUp about regular shortages of staff and a lack of medication.

Patients are registered in a tent.

Those who use the clinic’s services say the tent is not rain-proof and that depending on the weather it can be very hot or very cold inside. Before they had the tent, they had to queue outside.

Absenteeism

GroundUp visited Newlands Clinic to check on the service. The first time was November 1. It was a hot day and patients were waiting inside the tent.

The clinic manager, a Mr Matshangane, informed them that only one nurse was working that day as two nurses were absent.

He said the nurses had not informed him in advance that they would not be coming to work.

A patient, who only identified himself as Duna, told GroundUp that he arrived at the clinic before 07:00. He lives 5km away.

He said the clinic opened at 08:00 and clinic staff started seeing people at 09:00. It was already 11:00 and the queue was moving very slowly. Duna was panicking because he needed to fetch his grant money.

“I’m here to take my treatment. I’m not going to see a nurse; I just need to take my treatment. But I have to wait for more than four hours,” said Duna.

He said if he left without taking the scheduled treatment, the nurses were going to ignore him the next day or serve him last.

No electricity, no water

Another patient, who did not wish to give her name, said the service at the clinic has been slow for a long time.

She said the problem was that the nurses start work late and stop working at 16:30.

“I always know that I will spend the whole day [here] because of shortage of staff. It’s rare to find all nurses and doctor on the same day,” she said.

GroundUp visited a week later on November 7. It was windy and unbearably cold inside the tent.

Once again the manager said there was a shortage of staff.

There was also no electricity and or water on that day.

Patients had to use pit toilets to relieve themselves.

Request for another clinic

Matshangane said he had a meeting and would not be able to see patients as he usually did when there was a shortage of staff.

Aseza Mali said the clinic was small, but it was centrally located.

“People from Cuba, Eluxolweni, New Bright, Chris Hani, Newlands and other areas come here and yet there’s always shortage of staff. This clinic helps a lot of communities, but we only get a doctor twice a month. On other days, if you want to see a doctor you have to go to [Cecilia] Makiwane Hospital in Mdantsane and you must have transport money,” she said.

She said the community had raised the issue with the municipality and asked for another clinic to be built.

The Eastern Cape department of health and the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality did not respond to GroundUp.Eastern Cape department of health


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Sheriff seizes more furniture, equipment from Gauteng health department

The Gauteng health department has had more of its furniture seized to settle debts owed to companies, the DA said on Tuesday.

“The furniture removal man said he has got instructions to take what he has to take. There’s chairs, computers, fans and there is even a fridge. It is ridiculous,” DA Gauteng spokesperson for health Jack Bloom said.

Bloom said the DA was still unsure which company had been granted the summons by the Sheriff of the Court to attach the assets.

Bloom said he received information from Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa who was replying to a question at a sitting of the legislature on Tuesday. Ramokgopa said the department owed 1 576 companies more than R3.7bn.

“You’ve got a situation here where hundreds of companies are not paid. There are lawyers looking for payments for medical negligence. I can’t tell you exactly who is behind this one,” Bloom said.

According to Bloom, the Sheriff is a regular visitor to the department.

Phone lines cut

In August, the Sheriff of the Court removed two truckloads of furniture to force payment of R6.2m for medical negligence.

The equipment included 400 computers, 50 printers, 400 desks, 600 chairs, 200 filing cabinets, 10 fridges, 10 microwaves and three lounge suites.

Bloom said at the time that the action was brought by O Joubert Attorneys, acting on behalf of a child who suffered brain damage when she was born at the Pholosong Hospital in December 2009.

In September, Telkom cut telephone lines to the Gauteng health department’s head office for outstanding payments.

Gauteng department of health acting spokesperson Lesemang Matuka confirmed to News24 that furniture was attached by the Sheriff.

Matuka said officials were told by Ramokgopa that the department was facing financial difficulties.

He said the financial crisis was due to the increasing burden of disease, annual population growth and migration, the increasing number of medical claims, unfunded mandates and the increasing number of uninsured sicknesses due to the economic climate.

“There has been a financial committee established at provincial level to look at the financial issues at the department,” Matuka said.

By: News24


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Private healthcare environment compromised by unregulated fees

According to Patrick Masobe, chief executive officer of Agility Health, healthcare specialists are able to invoice patients and medical schemes in an unregulated fee-for-service environment – in which every service performed has a code and a price tag – with secondary healthcare expenditure eating away at the medical scheme benefits of South Africans.

“Among the biggest cost drivers in the healthcare funding sector are knock-on costs resulting from the way that the practice of medicine has evolved through the years, given costly new technologies and developments, which have rendered the cost of healthcare service provision prohibitively high. The more services the healthcare professional performs, the higher the bill will ultimately be,” he says.

“Add to this over-servicing due to clinicians practicing highly defensive medicine, which is often in response to the highly litigious environment healthcare professionals find themselves in. Doctors argue that they must test for all possible conditions in order to protect themselves from legal liability in the event that they could possibly have missed something. Unfortunately, this tends to drive overly cautious behaviour, which in turn increases healthcare expenditure.”

Unnecessary tests
According to Dr Jacques Snyman, director of product development at Agility Health, this means that doctors in an emergency setting may perform a range of tests to guard against the possibility that they could miss something of medical significance. “However, quite a number of the tests performed may, in fact, be quite unnecessary,” he adds.

Snyman cites a recent example of a patient who presented with chest pain and breathing difficulties. She lodged a complaint after receiving a R4,000 pathology account from a Pretoria emergency room. “As a known cardiac patient, she was rushed off to the emergency room for fear of a heart attack and received a physical examination, electrocardiogram (ECG), which is a test measuring the electrical activity of the heart, as well as blood tests checking heart enzymes. Given her history, these tests were all necessary and were appropriately performed.”

“In addition, however, a thyroid function, cholesterol, full liver, renal function as well as electrolyte tests were also performed. All of these were unnecessary within this context, thereby constituting over-servicing as they were done in the immediate past during normal follow-up. A host of other markers was also requested, again with no real relevance to this case. The patient was eventually diagnosed with inflammatory costochondritis, which is an inflammation of the cartilage in the rib cage. This condition can present as mild to severe chest pain, which in this case responded well to pain medication,” notes Snyman

“It is of particular concern that the patient was never asked to consent to the tests performed or informed of the costs thereof. This constitutes a serious breach of the ethical codes and rules of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), which require that the doctor or healthcare facility to obtain informed consent from a patient prior to performing tests and that they explain billing practices up front.”

valelopardo via
valelopardo via pixabay

PMB encourages opportunistic behaviour
Masobe explains that in terms of prescribed minimum benefit (PMB) regulations, all relevant tests that are done to exclude acute PMB conditions, such as a myocardial infarction, must be fully covered by a medical scheme. “It is important to note, however, that the scheme is only liable to fund this as a PMB condition until such time as a PMB condition has been excluded. In this case, it meant that the clinical examination, ECG and heart enzyme tests were funded as a PMB but not the additional, extraneous and medically unnecessary tests. This becomes a dilemma for the patient, who now becomes liable for paying these fairly expensive additional costs from medical savings or, worse still, out-of-pocket.”

Snyman cautions that medical schemes products, which dictate that certain services will only be funded in-hospital, can further drive opportunistic behaviour, both on the part of patients and providers. “In such instances, emergency consultations typically involve admitting the patient to ensure that costs are covered by the medical scheme. This is also highly convenient in terms of access for both patients and doctors, whose consulting rooms are located at the hospital.”

An additional driver of costs is the fact that specialist visits are often facilitated without a referral from a general practitioner. With specialists being in short supply, this type of behaviour is not only costly and unnecessary but also places a considerable burden on scarce healthcare resources. “There is an urgent need to return to a more primary care-focused healthcare model in the private sector. Medical scheme members should be channelled through GPs instead of going straight to specialists. However, the PMBs, in their current form, discourage such behaviour and instead tend to encourage hospitalisations,” he observes.

Creative billing practices
According to Snyman, non-adherence to medicine accounts for as much as 30% of hospital admissions in patients who suffer chronic conditions, yet some schemes have overly simplistic formularies that cannot provide the flexibility so desperately needed to effectively treat patients out of hospital.

“Some doctors invent creative billing practices to increase their earnings. In certain instances, they are encouraging patients to make full use of their gap cover policies to cover additional healthcare costs.”

“The implementation of PMBs and subsequent scrapping of the National Health Reference Price List (NHRPL) by the High Court exacerbated this problem. The establishment of a framework within which funders, as an industry could negotiate and agree on tariff structures with health service providers, will assist in controlling the rising costs associated with PMBs. If medical schemes need to pay for all PMB treatments and medications, it is important for schemes to be able to influence the costs of this by agreeing to an upfront Reference Price List (RPL) with hospital groups and healthcare specialists,” he says.

It has often been said that this situation has been exacerbated due to the pricing of PMBs not being regulated. Some providers are charging as much as 500% or more than the recommended tariffs for PMBs because they know the schemes are legally compelled to cover them. Providers are consequently not willing to contract at lower tariffs and are able to charge such high fees because of a shortage of, and great demand for, their highly specialised skills.

Regulatory model placing all medical schemes on an equal footing needed
Masobe notes that PMBs were intended to form part of a broader risk pooling exercise, which unfortunately never materialised. “As a result, we are now left with only one piece of a broader strategy, leading to escalating costs throughout the healthcare industry to the detriment of medical schemes and their members.”

“What is needed is a regulatory model that places all medical schemes on an equal footing so that schemes can, for example, reward GPs for quality outcomes. This would ensure that care is not compromised and significantly improved. “

“Implementing a patient-centred healthcare system, where schemes’ funds are freed up to cover more preventative care such as regular diagnostic tests and health screenings, would ensure that members require less hospitalisation. Schemes could still provide continuous care to members with fewer PMBs, or at least have the tariffs regulated for PMBs within specified limits,” he says.

A unique and integrated personalised patient management intervention, based on clinical and statistical insights per patient and not per disease, implemented by Agility Health since 2009 for medical schemes contracted to them, has reduced the number of hospital stays for patients living with chronic illnesses by 15.2%. “We found that, overall, hospital events decreased by 15.2% for high-risk patients following the implementation of the Patient Driven Care initiative. The reduction in costs that this represents is, naturally, a very welcome development for these patients and their medical schemes,” concludes Masobe.

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Intervention sought over ‘hospital horror’ at Warmbaths Hospital

The Post received a lengthy complaint from Barry Bredenkamp regarding alleged poor service at the Bela-Bela (Warmbaths) hospital.

Bredenkamp stated that a young man had committed suicide in the early hours of Sunday, 24 September, at Bela-Bela.

Bredenkamp said that the man’s mother woke-up to the tragic news early on the Sunday morning and immediately became hysterical and eventually broke a glass and inflicted self-harm as a show of remorse.

“An ambulance was called and she was transported to the Warmbaths Hospital, where unbeknown to the family, she was diagnosed as suicidal and admitted as a mental health patient,” Bredenkamp said.

He said that when they arrived at Ward 5 where she was admitted, they discovered that she was placed in what can only be described as a “prison cell”.

He made mention of barred doors and windows, a blood-stained mattress and bedding as some of the contents within the alleged “cell”.

“We immediately advised the nurse in charge that we could not let her stay in those conditions and requested that under the circumstances and with the death of her son earlier that morning, that she be discharged and released into the care of her family,” he said.

Bredenkamp said the nurse called for a doctor on duty to address the family’s request.

“The most arrogant individual arrived at the ward and said he understood the family wanted the patient discharged, but ‘that was not going to happen, as she was admitted in terms of the Mental Health Act and that she needed to stay in the hospital for 72 hours,” he said.

Bredenkamp said that an argument ensued, as the conditions at the hospital were not conducive for a human being and that the patient was misdiagnosed.

“At that point, a certain very young doctor told the nurse to call security to remove the family from the hospital and to lock the patient behind the bars in the cell, with no toilet, water or even a working bell to call a nurse, should she need any of the amenities.”

Bredenkamp alleged that security guards arrived at the Ward to remove the family, whilst the nurse locked the patient in the ‘cell’.

He said that the concerned family eventually managed to talk to the guards and explained the circumstances to them.
“The majority of them left the ward and on engaging with the three remaining guards, they told us to pursue the immediate removal of the patient, as she would probably end up dying in that hospital. They told us that many patients die in that hospital and that many children are stolen,” Bredenkamp alleged.

He said that the family returned to collect the patient three days later, but were told that the patient had been transferred to a State Mental Hospital in Lebowakgomo. No reasons were allegedly given for this sudden shifting of the goal posts.

After a lengthy deliberation with hospital management Bredenkamp said that at 20:30 that night, the patient was collected by a privately-arranged ambulance and transported to the Denmar Hospital in Pretoria, where she made a speedy recovery and was discharged in time to attend her son’s funeral.

Bredenkamp has since sent his correspondence to the National Departement of Health.

The Post requested comment from the hospital via e-mail after being informed of the query in a telephonic discussion with one Mpho Moloto, who said the query will be sent to their spokesman, Bhuti Muagi.
At the time of going to press no correspondence was received.

By: The Post


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Council pursues bogus health practitioners

A rise in bogus health practitioners has forced the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) and medical schemes to strengthen their forensics units to curb fraud.

A team at the HPCSA is conducting about 400 investigations into bogus practitioners. To date, just more than 40 arrests have been made, but prosecutions are slow.

Data from this special investigation unit suggests that about 7% of all medical aid claims in SA are fraudulent and stem from both bogus practitioners and unscrupulous ones.

Estimates are that this type of fraud costs the private sector R22bn a year.

Bogus practitioners include those who had previously been registered with the HPCSA, but were struck off for various infractions, while others had no medical qualifications or experience and used practice numbers belonging to registered healthcare practitioners.

Eric Mphaphuli, a senior inspector at the council, said on Monday that, initially, his team had issues getting the police on board and had to convince the authorities that the problem was serious and on the rise.

Since that conversation took place, arrests were being made every other week. “Recently a practitioner was arrested and sentenced to 20 years for practising illegally,” Mphaphuli said.

Bonitas Medical Fund, the second-largest open scheme in SA, had identified more than R79m in irregular claims involving medical practitioners in 2016 and recovered about R20m.

Gerhard van Emmenis, Bonitas’s principal officer, said the biggest single deterrent to fraud, waste and abuse was making it known that schemes were actively investigating every suspicious or unusual claim or activity.

In 2016, Bonitas introduced advanced analytical software into the live claims environment, using a mix of technology, analytics and expert skills to identify fraud, waste and abuse.

During this process, Bonitas red-flagged 574 healthcare professionals, 34 of whom were charged, while another four were arrested.

“We believe the HPCSA are too lenient on offenders. According to section 66 of the Medical Schemes Act, medical aid fraud, committed either by a member or a healthcare practitioner, is a criminal offence which carries a fine or imprisonment or both,” he said.

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union said it was concerned about rising corruption in the healthcare system.

Union spokesman Khaya Xaba said bogus practitioners compromised the healthcare system and the union was concerned about this.

United Democratic Movement general secretary Bongani Msomi said the Department of Health needed to “blacklist” bogus practitioners.


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‘Bogus’ online doctor to be probed

The Government Employee Medical Scheme has launched an investigation into claims it allowed staff at public relations firm Martina Nicholson Associates to give medical advice on its online column titled Dr Joe.

Dr Joe was an online service for members of the GEMS medical aid scheme who wanted to discuss health concerns with a doctor.

On September 26 The Times ran an article quoting former employees of Martina Nicholson Associates, who claimed that, with the help of Google, they answered questions sent to Dr Joe without a doctor’s advice. The column is no longer available on the GEMS website.

This week GEMS sent a response saying it was investigating the veracity of the claims.

GEMS principal officer Gunvant Goolab said: “GEMS is very concerned about this allegation and we have instituted an investigation and will respond as soon as the investigation has been concluded.

“GEMS takes the healthcare needs of our members seriously and will act without fear or favour against any conduct that places the scheme and industry in disrepute.”


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Ma wag op operasie, word ‘vergeet’ in stoorkamer

’n Vrou is woedend nadat haar sieklike ma, wat ’n noodoperasie aan ’n bloeiende maagseer moes ondergaan, ure lank in ’n stoorkamer in die Pelonomi-hospitaal in Bloemfontein “vergeet” is.

Desire Nel, ’n administrateur van Johannesburg, sê haar ma, Veronica (59), is Saterdag in die vroeë oggendure van die hospitaal op Odendaalsrus na Pelonomi oorgeplaas.

Veronica, wat op Wesselsbron woon en vir die N.G. Moedergemeente werk, het omstreeks 02:00 by Pelonomi aangekom waar sy in ’n stoorkamer geplaas is omdat daar nie vir haar ’n bed in een van die sale beskikbaar was nie.

“Die bed waarop my ma gelê het was te klein vir haar en haar voete het heeltyd afgeval. ’n Dokter het haar later kom ondersoek en gesê sy moet ’n noodoperasie kry.

“Hulle het ’n hele ruk gevat om vir haar ’n bed te kry en moes iemand skuif. Hulle het toe heeltemal van haar vergeet en eers 18:00 onthou,” sê Nel.

Volgens haar het sy gedurende die lang wag verskeie kere van die personeellede gevra oor wanneer haar ma geopereer word, maar niemand “kon of wou die moeite doen om net ’n foon op te tel nie”.

Sy het toe ’n man by die ontvangs op die vloer waar haar ma gelê het, gevra hoe laat hulle haar ma gaan opereer, maar hy was besig om ’n fliek op die hospitaal se rekenaar te kyk en het nie belanggestel om haar te help nie, sê Nel.

Nel sê sy gaan die aangeleentheid verder neem omdat niemand verdien om in sulke omstandighede in die hospitaal te wees nie.

Nel sê sy moes baklei dat die verpleegsters haar ma na ’n ander kamer skuif en dié kamer was net so vuil.

“Hulle sou my ma nie geopereer het as sy nie ’n bed gehad het nie. Die verpleegsters is baie ongeskik, loop weg as jy met hul praat of ignoreer jou.

“Toe hulle haar uiteindelik kom haal vir die operasie, het hulle gesê: ‘Sorry, we forgot about you.’ My ma was in baie pyn en het die Vrydag laas geëet of iets gedrink,” sê Nel.

Volgens haar was die kamer waarheen sy later geneem is, vuil. In die badkamer was daar ’n gebruikte drup, pleisters vol bloed, ongebruikte medikasie en vuil sanitêre doekies, sê sy.

Nel sê sy gaan die aangeleentheid verder neem omdat niemand verdien om in sulke omstandighede in die hospitaal te wees nie. Dis nie net ’n gesondheidsrisiko vir die pasiënte nie, maar vir die besoekers en personeel ook.

Sy het reeds Woensdag met die hospitaal se bestuur vergader nadat Netwerk24 die Vrystaatse gesondheidsdepartement om kommentaar genader het. Woensdagaand het haar ma nie aandete gekry nie en moes sy weer met die hospitaal se hoof praat.

Die hospitaal sal volgende Donderdag aan haar terugvoering gee

Mondli Mvambi, woordvoerder van die departement van gesondheid, sê dié soort voorvalle word in ’n ernstige lig beskou en dat mense dit dadelik by die hospitaal se bestuur moet aanmeld sodat dit ondersoek kan word.

Deur: Netwerk 24


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Suid-Rand-hospitaal in Johannesburg het 4 031 geboufoute

Meer as 4 000 geboufoute is in die Suid-Rand-hospitaal in The Hill in Johannesburg geïdentifiseer en dit voldoen glo nie aan die Wet op Beroepsgesondheid en Veiligheid nie.

Dr. Gwen Ramokgopa, Gautengse LUR vir gesondheid, het dit in ’n geskrewe antwoord op vrae deur Jack Bloom, DA-woordvoerder oor gesondheid in Gauteng, in die provinsiale wetgewer onthul.

4 031 foute is geïdentifiseer.

Bloom sê die dak lek, daar is krake in mure, die brandnooduitgang is substandaard en ’n deel van die ventilasiestelsel is foutief.

Hy sê die rioolstelsel moet ook opgegradeer word en die hospitaal benodig nog beddens, bergings- en apteekruimte.

Volgens Ramokgopa is die hospitaal in 1952 gebou en sedertdien minimaal opgeknap.

3 899 foute is sedert die hospitaal gebou is, reggestel, sê Bloom.

Volgens Bloom is dele van die hospitaal onveilig en dit hou ’n deurlopende risiko vir pasiënte en die personeel in.

“Daar is ongelukkig nie ’n begroting op kort termyn vir wat benodig word om die hospitaal op te gradeer nie. Die herstel van die hospitaal moet groter voorkeur kry, sê Bloom.

 


 

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Medical tax credits to go?

There has been talk for some time now about the National Health Insurance (NHI) and how it will be funded. In his Budget Speech in February 2017, former finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, alluded to an adjustment to medical tax credits to partly fund the system.

“The rationale behind replacing the tax deduction system with the credits/rebates was to address the inequality that the deduction system gave rise to,” says Somaya Khaki, South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) project director: tax. “In terms of the deduction system, higher income earners enjoyed a greater benefit through the effect of the progressive marginal income tax rates. With the more recently introduced medical credit system, lower income taxpayers now gain with the effect of reducing their overall tax liability with the medical tax credit, whilst higher income earners benefit less in comparison to the former regime, given that the rebate is a fixed amount regardless of earnings level.”

Medical tax credits reallocated

This was followed by the NHI White Paper in June this year, which proposes that the medical tax credits be ‘reallocated’ to fund the NHI to ensure an inclusive health system for all South Africans – that is, the credits currently enabling lower income earners access to private healthcare is likely to be scrapped. Whilst we hope to move to a society where all citizens have access to quality healthcare, one has to ask, how much revenue are we talking about and how much will it contribute towards the cost of NHI which will apparently only fully be implemented by 2025? Furthermore, what are the risks with increasing the tax liability on an already overburdened relatively small community of taxpayers?”

According to the 2017 Budget Review document released by National Treasury in February, the medical tax credits for the 2014/15 year amounted to approximately R18.5bn, approximately 7% of the R256bn estimated NHI cost in respect of the 2025 year (in 2010 pricing). According to Elize Rich from Econex, when adjusted to 2017 prices, the estimated NHI cost for 2025 is more in the region of R369bn. Considering these numbers, scrapping the medical tax credits will not make much of a dent in recovering such costs in the long term. These plans also appear contradictory to the state’s intent when it introduced the medical tax credits – namely to allow lower income earners access to high quality healthcare which the public healthcare system is not ready to provide and may not be ready for years to come.

Taxpayer morale

“One also needs to consider taxpayer morale and attitude to yet again increasing the tax burden on individual taxpayers, by taking away the benefit of the medical tax credit and possibly increasing other taxes to fund the NHI – such increases which are not considered in this article,” says Khaki. “If one has to consider that unlawful and wasteful expenditure in 2016 was, at R48bn, almost three times the amount expended on medical tax credits in 2014/15, according to the auditor general’s report, the question must be asked as to whether government is really acting responsibly and in the best interests of the citizens.

Addressing the unlawful and wasteful expenditure challenge would realise far more revenue than scrapping the medical tax credits and will go a long way to improving taxpayer morale and therefore taxpayer compliance and willingness to pay if there is a view that the monies are used responsibly.

This is supported by research performed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development as well as that presented at the recent International Symposium on Tax and Corruption hosted by the Saica, wherein it was identified that factors that influence tax morale amongst citizens especially in developing countries include: satisfaction with public services and expenditures; trust in government; and perceptions of corruption.

Tax increases unsustainable

Given the numerous service delivery protests, current media focus on corruption and the lack of trust that citizens have in general with respect to governance in South Africa – whilst taxpayers should always act ethically, the levels of unhappiness with the current state of affairs definitely raises the question: how much more tax will taxpayers be willing to pay before there is a revolt and will it be worthwhile to risk this for the additional R18bn a year?

The ongoing increase in taxes is clearly unsustainable and we anxiously await the medium-term budget policy statement where we will hopefully hear more on governments proposals for growing the economy, addressing the high unemployment rate, dealing with corruption and unlawful expenditure within state entities and increasing the tax base without overburdening the already overburdened taxpayers, all of which will go towards creating a more sustainable economy and sustainable funding,” concludes Khaki.


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