Managed health care and dentists in the Gauteng province

C Mathabathe, N, Rudolph M, Ogunbodede E.  2000.  Managed health care and dentists in the Gauteng province, 2000/04/01. SADJ : journal of the South African Dental Association = tydskrif van die Suid-Afrikaanse Tandheelkundige Vereniging. 55:132-5.


Managed health care (MHC) has emerged in South Africa as an alternative system to control the cost of health care. Fears, negative perceptions and much uncertainty have surrounded this issue since its introduction in South Africa. The purpose of this study was to assess the understanding, perceptions and opinions of dentists residing in the Gauteng province about the emergence, benefits, impact, and future of MHC in South Africa. Eighty-six dentists (21.5%) out of the sample population of 400 responded to the questionnaire. The majority (66.7%) of the respondents perceived MHC to be a threat to their practices, with most feeling that MHC will interfere with the doctor-patient relationship. Forty-two per cent of the respondents were of the opinion that MHC will not succeed in South Africa. The results suggest that this sample of dentists do not consider MHC to be an alternative to the existing fee-for-service system. The introduction of MHC in South Africa is mostly based on models used in the USA, which might not be appropriate in the unique South African environment.