Is this the road to ruin or salvation?
R335.00 per hour... Is this the road to ruin or salvation?
Given the current offering of the DOH of R 335.00 per hour, to GPs to work in NHI clinics in some of the pilot areas we have received numerous concerned calls from doctors to reconsider their position and their relevance, in the chain of primary health care delivery.
“The practice must keep on running whilst we work at the clinics, and at running costs of in excess of 60% of turnover in an average General Practice, we must not forget that our staff wages, lights, water, bond on property, computer costs, rental on equipment, etc etc, continue to be payable whilst our income plummets”, they comment.
“During those hours at a pilot clinic site for the NHI, you will earn R 335.00 per hour which must cover all of your practice running costs and generate sufficient income for you to take home a salary upon which you will finally pay tax.”
Putting it into perspective, if you see 6 medical aid patients per hour, at the average medical aid rate of R 300.00 (rates vary between schemes and administrators) you will gross R 1,800.00 per hour. Your overheads remain the same to run your practice whilst you are there, as when you are away, doing NHI clinic duties.
At medical aid rates ,a simple calculation will show you that you are the net loser of approx. R 1450.00 per hour whilst you man an NHI clinic. Obviously you are , as always free to decide which ever way you want , and for some doctors, this will be manna from heaven, for others ,it will be the road to ruin………… you decide.
Philosophically , we have not looked into admirable and lofty ideals of the Individual Social Responsibility of assisting wherever possible in a future NHI, but then neither has SARS who remain as focussed as ever.
An alternative plan which has been discussed many times is to see State patients on a “panel ” system in your rooms, along the lines of the old Railway doctor system , and get all medication and disposables issued from a local nearby Government dispensary depot. In this manner you remain in your rooms and can see your own patients as well as State patients at your convenience, your efficiency soars and it is a “win win” for all.
Think about it, then do what your conscience, your financial position and your bank manager dictates……………….