Mail & Guardian2 Queries
Doctors' tariffs: Tell us what you think
The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) wants to introduce guideline tariffs for private doctors and dentists in South Africa. Currently, health professionals' fees are not regulated in South Africa and these suggested charges will be used as a standard for what it should cost to visit a doctor or dentist. It will also be used to determine if patients have been overcharged.
The HPCSA published guideline tariffs on its website last year but it subsequently retracted them. On the whole, the tariffs were lower than what medical schemes were prepared to pay. Doctors said the HPCSA calculated these "artificial" amounts arbitrarily "without a scientific basis" and did not consult health practitioners.
Doctor and dentist associations accused the HPCSA and the health minister of having a "hidden agenda" by introducing low guideline tariffs to "force down" fees to unrealistic levels so that the government's planned national health insurance scheme was able to afford them.
Whether you're a patient or a medical professional, we'd like to find out what you think about the changes. We'll publish your views in the Mail & Guardian's February 15 health supplement.