1547 Health services in the south african mining industry

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Abstract

Introduction

South African mining companies have historically provided health services to their employees. The standard managed care or capitation delivery method is not the only one available as employees are shifting to medical aid. South Africa has adopted the National Health Insurance (NHI) Policy and mine health facilities will be part of an NHI system. The Chamber of Mines conducts three yearly surveys of its members focusing on how health services are provided and such a survey was conducted in 2015.

Methods

Primary data was collected during October 2015, using structured questionnaires sent to all Chamber members. Responses were then collated and analysed on Excel.

Results

Thirty-three (33) mines, which make up 47.8% of Chamber members, representing 331 262 employees or 74% of the employees in the industry, responded to the survey. Overall, occupational Health Services were available to all (100%) contractors and permanent employees. Emergency Care Services were provided to all except 2.8% (2304) of contractors. Primary Health Care Services were available to 97.4% of permanent employees and 54.5% of contractors. Hospital in-patient Care was available to 90.7% of permanent employees and 38.3% of contractors. Sixty-one percent (61%) of employees were on medical aid. Overall, all mines provided TB screening and HIV counselling services.

Discussion

Results showed that occupational and emergency services were well provided to all employees. Medical aid membership had increased over the years, with more employees going onto open medical aid schemes.

Conclusion

There have been shifts in how health services are rendered by mining companies in South Africa. These shifts have to be taken into account when companies and the country are planning for delivery of future health services, particularly for the NHI.

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