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‘NHI will reduce health care costs’

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Company will distribute chronic medication in the Northern Cape

Picture: Itumeleng English

THE ROLL-OUT of the government’s National Health Insurance (NHI) plan will guarantee the provision of quality health care for more than 60% of South Africans who can’t afford medical aid cover, says Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.

“The more people we put on treatment, the more affordable it (the prices of medicine and health care) becomes, not the other way round.

“But in South Africa, we choose the other way round.

“They say ‘these poor people are going to be very expensive, we cannot afford this NHI’, they want to stay with the 16% that are on medical aid,” Motsoaledi said at the official opening of Pharmacy Direct’s central chronic dispensing and distribution centre (CCMDC) in Midrand, Gauteng.

“We have to keep on adding the masses of people, and that is exactly what we are going to do with the NHI. Get more people in, and you improve the economy. But still people keep saying ‘no, no, the public health sector is collapsing’. These are solutions.”

Motsoaledi joined the chairperson of AfroCentric Group, Dr Anna Mokgokgong, and chief executive Antonie van Buuren at the CCMDC, which will be used to distribute chronic medication in four provinces: KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, the Northern Cape and Limpopo.

The AfroCentric Group, the parent company of Pharmacy Direct, says about 4000 jobs will be created in the programme, while making it easier for patients to receive their prescription medicines in clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, schools, and at other designated pick-up points.

“An infrastructure like this warehouse also incentivises job creation. I am excited to announce that this warehouse and the increase in Pharmacy Direct volumes by 50% will help create at least 4000 jobs in the next 12 months,” said Mokgokgong.

“The creation of these jobs will benefit more families. This also means infrastructure through innovative economic development projects that integrate commercial developments which help create vibrant communities where people can live and work.”

Delivers

Pharmacy Direct, established in 2004, is a nationwide courier pharmacy that delivers prescribed chronic medication to private and public sector patients.

With a current staff complement of more than 1000, Pharmacy Direct dispenses and distributes about 40000 chronic prescriptions a day.

The national Department of Health awarded Pharmacy Direct a three-year central chronic dispensing and distribution contract to dispense and deliver patient medicinwe parcels in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, the Northern Cape and Limpopo.