SAMED represents 223 medical technology companies, whose products and devices play a vital role across the continuum of patient care – prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has received a mix of support and backlash against the NHI Bill, with local health technology association SAMED the latest to come out in support of the legislation.

“SAMED recognises the inequities of the current fragmented healthcare system. We view the proposed NHI as a crucial element that can assist South Africa in advancing universality and social solidarity as the pillars of a people-centred health system that does not discriminate along economic lines,” says Dr Terence Moodley, the Chairperson of SAMED’s NHI Committee.

The tabling of the Bill for parliamentary debate and public commentary follows last week’s SAMED annual conference which featured a special session on NHI, where Dr Anban Pillay, the Deputy Director General of Health, invited the medical technology industry to remain an active participant in the NHI processes.

SAMED has followed the progress of NHI policy-making since the outset:

  • It has reviewed and made submissions on both the Green and White Papers and the draft NHI Bill in 2018. It recommended changes relating to the aspects that directly affect procurement, reimbursement and use of medical technologies, as well as other critical elements where the Association felt it could provide relevant inputs. These include governance, accreditation, work of NHI committees and determination of the benefits package that will be covered by the NHI.
  • SAMED regularly holds member sessions on NHI so that the sector understands and manages the developments as it pursues its vision to build a sustainable medical technology industry that enhances patient access to innovative solutions.
  • This year, SAMED joined Business Unity South Africa, through which it contributes to the Presidential Health Compact, notably in the area of strengthening supply-chain management.

“SAMED is an eager partner in the mission to improve the nation’s healthcare and health outcomes and will continue to mobilise support within our sector and the broader society for universal health coverage and the NHI,” concludes Dr Moodley.