The Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, met with the leadership of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) on Wednesday28 August 2019 afternoon to discuss a framework in which BUSA can engage the Department of Health on pertinent issues relating to NHI.
The discussion began with a common understanding that the current health care system is inequitable and unsustainable. There was no dispute that Universal Health Coverage should be realized through active cooperation between the public and private healthcare sectors and therefore BUSA wishes to express support for the NHI in principle.
However, BUSA proposed a mechanism to engage with the department on an ongoing basis to resolve various matters of mutual interest.
Both BUSA and Minister accepted the importance for the parliamentary process to be followed and be respected in engaging with the Bill and through the parliamentary hearings.
Minister accepted the proposal by BUSA that a Five-aside team be constituted representing BUSA and Department of Health to find resolutions for the matters of mutual interest.
It was agreed that mechanisms be found to resolve these issues amicably through a structured framework of engagement.
“This is a positive departure from historically hostile public- private relations. As a sector we are already showing signs of maturity and cohesion, which is very encouraging” says Minister Mkhize
The BUSA Acting CEO, Cas Coovadia said: “The meeting was very constructive and the agreement on a robust process of engagement on issues is very positive.”