Original Research

Insights of private general practitioners in group practice on the introduction of National Health Insurance in South Africa

Shabir Moosa, John Luiz, Teresa Carmichael, Wim Peersman, Anselme Derese
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 8, No 1 | a1025 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v8i1.1025 | © 2016 Shabir Moosa, John Luiz, Teresa Carmichael, Wim Peersman, Anselme Derese | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 September 2015 | Published: 15 June 2016

About the author(s)

Shabir Moosa, Department of Family Medicine, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
John Luiz, Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Teresa Carmichael, Wits Business School, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
Wim Peersman, Department of Family Medicine, Ghent University, Belgium
Anselme Derese, Department of Family Medicine, Ghent University, Belgium


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Abstract

Background: The South African government intends to contract with ‘accredited provider groups’ for capitated primary care under National Health Insurance (NHI). South African solo general practitioners (GPs) are unhappy with group practice. There is no clarity on the views of GPs in group practice on contracting to the NHI.

Objectives: To describe the demographic and practice profile of GPs in group practice in South Africa, and evaluate their views on NHI, compared to solo GPs.

Methods: This was a descriptive survey. The population of 8721 private GPs in South Africa with emails available were emailed an online questionnaire. Descriptive statistical analyses and thematic content analysis were conducted.

Results: In all, 819 GPs responded (568 solo GPs and 251 GPs in groups). The results are focused on group GPs. GPs in groups have a different demographic practice profile compared to solo GPs. GPs in groups expected R4.86 million ($0.41 million) for a hypothetical NHI proposal of comprehensive primary healthcare (excluding medicines and investigations) to a practice population of 10 000 people. GPs planned a clinical team of 8 to 12 (including nurses) and 4 to 6 administrative staff. GPs in group practices saw three major risks: patient, organisational and government, with three related risk management strategies.

Conclusions: GPs can competitively contract with NHI, although there are concerns. NHI contracting should not be limited to groups. All GPs embraced strong teamwork, including using nurses more effectively. This aligns well with the emergence of family medicine in Africa.

Keywords: Capitation, human resource, primary health care,  family medicine, South Africa, health systems


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