Dr Brian Ruff – Reaction to the NHI is ill-informed
The National Health Insurance is not a radical shift to dismantle a functioning system, but an opportunity to review two poorly functioning ones. The public sector sees very high volumes of patients, but gives them bad service and produces poor outcomes. The private sector is modelled on low volume, high cost care, using its resources badly to serve very few people. South Africa cannot move forward without convergence in the sector. We need a high functioning universal healthcare system – one which provides high volumes of quality care at an affordable cost. One that uses resources wisely, according to need and reward. The challenge for all stakeholders is how best to transition to such a system – one that places patients at the centre of its model.
After three decades of work in healthcare, both public and private, Dr Brian Ruff has an acute sense of the structural problems driving the crisis of affordability that the sector faces. Ruff spent years working as an internal medicine specialist and a Rheumatologist in state hospitals in Gauteng. In 1999, he joined the world of private medical schemes as Discovery Health’s Head of Clinical Risk Management. Over the sixteen years that followed, Ruff became increasingly aware that it was not only the public healthcare system that was facing crisis and struggling to establish itself in post-apartheid South Africa, but the private sector too. Wanting to be an active part of a solution, he co-founded healthcare management company PPO Serve in 2014. Their aim is to make the sector better for patients and doctors, ensuring access to good quality care, delivered at a good price through teamwork.
He will take questions.
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