Public hearings on the controversial National Health Insurance Bill are expected to take place in the Northern Cape over the weekend.
The hearings, facilitated by parliament’s portfolio committee on health, will take place in the Sol Plaatje and Emthanjeni local municipalities in Kimberley and De Aar, respectively.
Portfolio committee spokesperson Felicia Lombard said the objective of the bill was to achieve universal access to quality health-care services in South Africa in accordance with Section 27 of the Constitution.
“… to establish a National Health Insurance fund and to set out its powers, functions and governance structures as well as to provide a framework for the strategic purchasing of health-care services by the fund on behalf of users.
“The bill further aims to create mechanisms for the equitable, effective and efficient utilisation of the resources of the fund to meet the health needs of the population, to preclude or limit undesirable, unethical and unlawful practices in relation to the fund and its users, and to provide for matters connected herewith,” Lombard said.
In October, the committee said it had received 100,000 written submissions on the bill but had yet to read one, according to News24.
Committee chairperson Sibongiseni Dhlomo said at a briefing, the Western Cape would be the last province where hearings would take place in February before the State of the Nation Address (Sona).
After Sona, the committee intends to look at all the written submissions.
Those wanting to send submissions have until November 29 to do so.