Doctors lobby against some proposed Coida amendments

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South African doctors are lobbying for a rejection of some proposed amendments to the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (Coida) which they say will bring health professionals to their knees and force some to refuse to treat injured workers. A report in Die Burger notes that the amendment Bill elicited positive responses for aspects such as the inclusion of domestic workers, but that section 43 of the proposed legislation is causing alarm in certain sectors.

That section would prohibit the well-established practice of offering medical invoices submitted to the Compensation Fund as collateral to any bank or administrator. The Injured Workers Action Group (IWAG) says the provision would be “catastrophic” as those administrators are used not only for administering fund claims, but to provide cashflow solutions for service providers who wait years for payments.

“As a result of the dysfunctionality of the fund, medical service providers have been using administrators for more than 20 years. IWAG is of the view that it makes no sense to remove an important part of the value chain that is working. Neither the Minister nor the department (of labour), and even less so the Compensation Fund, have offered a reasonable explanation for the amendment,” IWAG’s Tim Hughes said.

The SA Medical Association also supports a rejection of the amendment, SAMA’s Dr Angelique Coetzee says. The portfolio committee on labour invited comments until 19 February.

Representations may be sent for the attention to Zolani Sakasa at zsakasa@parliament.gov.za.

Full report in Die Burger (Restricted access)

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