What is the NHCPA?
The NHCPA (National Health Care Professionals Association) aims to unite and support healthcare professionals within South Africa. So it is a body that healthcare professionals can join voluntarily for an annual fee.
And this body represents healthcare professionals in their dealings with the Department of Health, private healthcare funders (medical aids) and insurers, business and the communities in which they operate.
Structure of NHCPA
The body was originally established by Doctors Gumede and Buthelezi to assist private healthcare professionals in their dealings with medical aids. And it subsequently expanded to include all health practitioners in both private and public service.
The NHCPA consists of a National Committee comprising:
- Chairperson (Dr Donald Gumede)
- Secretary-General (Dr Prudence Buthelezi)
- Treasurer (Dr NombasaMayeko)
- 4 members
Provincial committees sit beneath this structure, led by Provincial Convenors.
Role of NHCPA
The NHCPA’s role and objectives can be summarised as follows:
- Uniting healthcare professionals in delivering quality medical services
- Protecting the rights of healthcare professionals
- Assisting healthcare professionals to earn a living while providing quality service to patients
- Encouraging uniform practices and standards of treatment
- Addressing abusive conduct by medical schemes that result in financial loss for healthcare professionals
- Focusing on the doctor/patient relationship (instead of financial gain by third parties)
The NHCPA has been effective in:
- dealing with non-payment of health professionals by medical aids
- assisting with employment opportunities for just-qualified healthcare professionals
- negotiating salaries and benefits with the Department of Health
During 2017, the NHCPA started court proceedings against 19 medical aids that it believed were using hidden cameras or spies to expose misconduct of doctors and/or patients. In addition, it urged its members to report any medical aids using these tactics, saying they were unconstitutional and an invasion of privacy.
The NHCPA believed that medical aids should rather use the legal system to deal with issues of fraud. They were also protecting their members from medical aids that withhold payment from health professionals without any proof of wrongdoing.
The National Health Care Professionals Association is an important body that is able to speak on behalf of healthcare professionals. It strives to ensure that they are protected when dealing with medical aids and other bodies that are an essential part of the medical chain.
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