Marking one year since the first COVID-19 case was reported in South Africa, the government has reiterated the vaccine will be administered for free. The health department's technical adviser, Dr Aquina Thulare, said people who do not belong to medical aid schemes will be funded through the fiscus. News24 reports that she spoke during a briefing to Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Health, to outline the country's COVID-19 vaccine plans.
Vaccines will be stored at Biovac, a partly state-owned bio-pharmaceutical company, which will be responsible for distribution. "Biovac will supply vaccines to private sector providers that will be vaccinating. There will be claims against the medical aid schemes that the members belong to. The schemes are going to pay for the vaccine, using a mechanism called the single exit price. This will go back into the fiscus to enable government to purchase more vaccines," she said.
In January, the government announced it was looking at ways of recovering costs from insured patients.
News24 reports that for those covered by medical aid, funding will be derived from schemes, even though it will be administered for free at the point of service. Thulare said there was also the option for uninsured patients to be vaccinated at a private facility. "For those who are not on a medical aid and wish to be vaccinated in the private sector sites, there will be an administration fee that is paid to those private sector vaccination sites.
Thulare said private businesses, who want to vaccinate, will also be purchasing from Biovac and they will reimburse the fiscus "by paying Biovac".
"There will be a final determination of how the private sector will put in funding to augment the fiscus into purchasing the vaccines. The discussions are quite advanced," she said.
Thulare said National Treasury will be guiding the process of how these funds can be deposited into the pot, which the fiscus will be using to purchase the vaccines.
[link url="https://www.news24.com/news24/southafrica/news/no-one-will-pay-for-a-covid-19-vaccine-here-is-how-the-health-dept-will-cover-the-costs-20210305"]Full News24 report (Open access)[/link]
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