The Portfolio Committee on Employment and Labour is set to hear verbal submissions related to the COIDA Amendment Bill. The committee will hear from 17 applicants on 20, 21, 22 and 28 April 2021.
Clause 43 prohibits the cession of medical invoices by medical service providers to any financial institutions or third-party administrators as collateral for much needed working capital, equipment finance or other operation lending. This means that medical professionals will no longer be pre-funded by third party administrators and will, if Clause 43 is promulgated, have to submit their claims directly to the Compensation Fund for reimbursement.
The Injured Workers Action Group (IWAG) cannot identify any reasonable justification for the introduction of Section 43. We are deeply concerned that the unintended consequences of the removal of the right to cede claims to third party administrators will undermine the mandate and objective of the COID Act, which is to provide access to quality healthcare for workers who are injured on duty. These are some of the most vulnerable citizens in our country. Consequently, IWAG is calling for the removal of section 43 from the Amendment Bill.
Ms Pinky Mashiane, president of the United Domestic Workers of South Africa Union, says: “As domestic workers, we have fought for many years for the right to access quality medical care under the Compensation Fund, and are very pleased that government is introducing legislation that will make this a reality for our vulnerable and often overlooked sector. However, our inclusion will only have value if the system works. If government removes the areas of the Fund that actually function, they will effectively be undermining the level of care that domestic workers are being promised, and remove the true benefits of being a beneficiary. It is for this reason that we are opposed to the inclusion of Section 43 of the Amendment Bill.”
Dr Angelique Coetzee, chairperson of the SA Medical Association, says: “SAMA believes that the amendment should be removed from the Bill. The extent of the pressure and burden faced by our country’s MSPs has been exposed over the past year as they battle to save lives and treat the millions of patients infected by COVID-19. Many of these patients have been infected while at work, which means their treatment is covered by the provisions of the COID Act. It’s clear that medical service providers have less time than ever to manage the administrative processes required to secure payment from the Fund. Without third party administrators, MSPs will need to carve out hours in their frantic days in an attempt to submit claims on a system that just doesn’t work.”
Issued by the Injured Workers Action Group (IWAG)