By Surihe Gaomas
The Social Security Commission (SSC) has announced newly-adjusted medical aid tariffs payable to its service providers under its Employees’ Compensation Fund, or ECF.
Marked a historical milestone, the move is calculated at doing away with disparities in the previous tariffs system that were dependent on South Africa, and are now in line with those of the Namiba Medical Aids Scheme (NAMAF).
Announcing this adjustment at a press briefing in Windhoek yesterday, SSC corporate affairs officer, Rino Muranda, confirmed the action was being done to harmonize its tariffs with those of the Namibia Medical Aids Scheme (NAMAF).
He said that since its inception in1995, the medical tariffs paid out by the SSC to its service providers for injury-on-duty cases were lower than those paid by private medical aid companies as prescribed by NAMAF. However, Muranda said this disparity caused a lot of tension.
“This situation has at times caused tension between the various role-players; for example, the private medical doctors and hospitals on the one side and the Commission on the other, which led to refusal by some medical service-providers to treat injury-on-duty cases,” Muranda explained.
In view of this, the newly-adjusted tariffs, which took effect from May 18 in line with the 2006 NAMAF medical aid tariffs, are regarded a major milestone for the SSC.
“We believe that the gazetting of the newly-adjusted tariffs is not only a historical milestone and a positive achievement for the Commission, but it will also go a long way in serving the interests of our members, while at the same time taking care of the business interests of our service providers,” added Muranda.
Since NAMAF has already approved its new tariffs for 2007, the Commission is also looking into reviewing and adjusting its newly-gazetted tariffs to bring them in line with NAMAF’s tariffs in future.
Speaking at the same occasion, general manager of operations, David Keendjele, said that from 2007 onwards the Commission has been moving closer to the tariff system of NAMAF.
“Previously, there were always disparities as we were dependent on the tariff codes from South Africa.
This was one of our problems, but this new adjustment is a historical moment as we move closer to NAMAF,” elaborated Keendjele.
During the 2006/07 financial year alone, which ended in February, the SSC processed and paid out ECF benefits amounting to just over N$12.8??????’??