19 August 2012
For Attention: Prof M.S. Mokgokong
President of the HPCSA
RE – GUIDELINE TARIFFS FOR SERVICES BY MEDICAL PRACTIONERS
Dear Prof. Mokgokong
The recent announcement by the HPCSA is deplorable. To see a colleague on National TV making the announcement, claiming to have had input from professionals in the private sector was an insult and in fact was an untrue statement.
To think that remuneration for our services has been reduced to a process so flawed and unprofessional to ascertain our monetary worth, is unacceptable.
Historically, before the Competition Commissioner stepped in, there was comprehensive process in place. Every discipline within the profession caucused to determine the appropriate fees, this recommendation was then taken to a meeting of the disciplines where the amounts were debated and decided upon. A committee then took these recommendations to RAMS and later the BHF where there was interaction with the funders and service providers and a tariff for all services was determined. At the stage where this was declared uncompetitive, the BHF and the profession had agreed that the process needed refining, they were in the throes of having a 3 day meeting to create a more favourable scientific process. This process involved representation of all professional disciplines and senior members of the Medical Schemes.
To have this reduced to what we are now presented with is unacceptable. The tariff determining process needs to be studied by competent people and a solution needs to be found so that the profession is adequately rewarded for competent quality care.
There is a wealth of information in the profession. There needs to be a scientific factual analysis of the true costs of running a practice that now needs to be multidisciplinary to adequately serve the communities. Once these have been determined then an appropriate scale of fees can be created, it can be monitored and maintained on a yearly basis.
The SAMCC and it's parent body the IPAF (Independent Practitioners Association Foundation) is one of many groups of doctors who need to be involved in developing an acceptable new process that is appropriate and market related to the amount of work and the responsibility carried by the professionals.
We welcome the fact that publishing of the document has been postponed to allow for further participation and comment by concerned parties. We are grateful that your timely intervention has prevented a major conflict situation from unfolding.
We again state that we, as the SAMCC, are available to participate in future processes.
We need to express that the sentiment within our ranks is such that we will even go the legal route unless this publication is replaced by an acceptable alternative. The present publication will again fuel the steady growth of competent colleagues to greener pastures.
Yours in Medicine
Dr D Nana