BHF is the representative organisation for the majority of medical schemes throughout South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana as well as Lesotho. As the industry representative body, the organisation relies on the membership of all medical schemes to ensure that it is able to lobby government and other organisations effectively and to influence policy where necessary on behalf of the entire industry. Read more..


We are delighted to announce the dates for the 16th Annual BHF Southern African Conference. The event will be held from the 26th to the 29th of July 2015 at the CTICC in Cape Town.



Click here to view Volume 14 of the BHF Bytes.


BHF Trustee Training: 2015:

This focused, comprehensive, one-day course provides in-depth information on the key areas relating to good governance of medical schemes. Highly relevant to trustees and those working within the private funding sector.

The topics are presented by industry experts and all delegates receive a CD with resource manual containing relevant information as well as a bound copy of the Medical Schemes Act and Regulations.

We will be posting the dates of the 2015 Training sessions soon

Please contact zolam@bhfglobal.com for information regarding future Trustee Training sessions, as well as customized sessions.



Medical aids 'dictate treatment' to doctors

Katharine Child: The Times, 11 February 2015

MEDICAL aid scheme administrators and private hospitals are accused of colluding to restrict the range of medicines that healthcare workers can prescribe to their patients. In submissions to the Competition Commission inquiry into the cost of private healthcare, doctors said they were furious that medical aid scheme administrators were setting the prices doctors could charge, and by restricting the medicines they could prescribe were interfering in the treatment of patients. In its submission to the inquiry, the SA Medical Association, representing more than 7 000 doctors, slammed the three
biggest hospital groups, Mediclinic, Life and Netcare, and medical aid administrator Discovery Health. The association claimed that they colluded in deciding which treatments would be available in hospitals.

Please click here for more details

Guidelines: Rural-proofing for health

Guidelines: Rural-proofing for health
DRAFTED by the Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP), the guidelines are designed to provide policymakers at national and district levels with a tool to evaluate whether health policies meet the needs of rural populations. The 52-page guidelines are designed to not only evaluate the appropriateness of policies but also ensure that they are effective and sustainable, and move to improve equity in healthcare services. Divided into eight chapters, the guidelines cover areas such as key background on rural
health in South Africa before moving to provide a framework for analysing the health system. Like the National Department of Health, RHAP uses the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Health Systems Framework to evaluate the healthcare systems.
The guidelines thus divide the system into six core components, which are then evaluated by inputs, resources and priorities for instance. RHAP will be running free trainings on the guidelines for government officials and civil society.

Please click here
to download the guidelines

Doctors 'operating legally' after Concourt ruling - 27 January 2015

By: Chantelle Benjamin
Mail and Guardian

Issuing the proclamation led to a situation that could discourage practitioners from providing essential services for fear of criminal sanction.
Lawyers for Zuma and the health department said the president had

Doctors and healthcare providers are once again operating legally, after the Constitutional Court declared invalid a proclamation by the president bringing into effect sections of the National Health Care Act that regulates where doctors can operate.

Following the proclamation issued by President Jacob Zuma, doctors would have had to apply to the department of health for a “certificate of need”, or permission to work in an area, by April 1 2016. Please click here for more

Do economics laws apply to hospitals? - 28 January 2015

Dave Marrs: Company Comment: Business Day, 28 January 2015

THE Competition Commission’s decision to block Life Healthcare’s bid to acquire Lowveld Hospital in Nelspruit has provided insight into pricing in private hospitals. The antitrust body says it rejected the deal because it feared significant price increases. Life does not have a hospital in Nelspruit. Mediclinic, Lowveld and a newcomer that started operating in October last year are the only providers in the area. When it comes to pricing, Lowveld is cheaper than Mediclinic as its prices are based on National Hospital Network’s (NHN’s) fee structure. NHN is a grouping of independent hospitals whose collective share of SA’s private hospital market is about 25 percent. Life, Mediclinic and Netcare jointly control the remainder. The commission said as a group Life’s prices are sometimes higher than those of Mediclinic, so allowing Lowveld to become part of Life might result in significant price increases. And there would be no competition between Life and Mediclinic in the area because both would benefit from price increases. The commission’s reasoning is obviously based on speculation, but if true it is disturbing that the prices charged by big hospital groups are higher than those of their small and independent rivals. What happened to economies of scale? Do economics laws not apply to private hospitals?

French health insurers in tie-up

Leigh Thomas: Reuters, 12 January 2015

TWO of France's biggest mutual health insurers have signed a tie-up as the sector seeks economies of scale in the face of strained public health budgets.

MGEN and Harmonie Mutuelle agreed to hold exclusive talks for six months aimed at thrashing out the details and winning approval from their policyholders, who in effect own them under their mutualist structures. With MGEN focused on public sector workers and Harmonie Mutuelle on the private sector, the combined group would have annual revenues of about €5bn and cover more than 8-million people. With the state's health insurance budget severely pinched and healthcare costs rising, health insurers have little choice but to cut costs or raise insurance premiums.

Healthcare in 2015

Katharine Child: The Times, 8 January 2015

There is more to healthcare than New Year resolutions to lose weight and eat better. Here is some of what to expect in the health arena in 2015.

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