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2 minute read
3 Nov 2019
8:07 am

Near Upington today? Have your say on NHI bill

News24 Wire

The hearing will be held at the Dawid Kruiper Local Municipality's Toll Speelman Hall from 10am.

Health MEC Bandile Masuku (L) speaks to the Health Minister Zweli Mkhize at Helen Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg, 2 September 2019, during a public discussion. The Elders have been campainging for Universal Health Coverage throughout the world since 2016 and to support NHI. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

If you’re near Upington in Northern Cape on Sunday you can have your say at one of the public hearings on the controversial National Insurance Bill, Parliament’s portfolio committee on health said.

“The objective of the Bill is 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; and to provide a framework for the strategic purchasing of health care services by the fund on behalf of users,” the committee explained.

NHI is the government’s plan to provide universal healthcare access to all South Africans. It is expected to be rolled out by 2026 and is estimated to cost R256bn

On Wednesday Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said Treasury and the Department of Health are in ongoing discussions over the affordability of the proposed NHI.

“The National Treasury assisted the Department of Health to develop an actuarial model with updated fiscal costs and limited policy reforms to strengthen the current healthcare system.”The revised model estimates that rolling out NHI would require an additional R33bn annually from 2025/26. These amounts are not budget commitments but indicative cost estimates,” the document read.

In October, the committee said it had received 100 000 written submissions on the bill.

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.

Written submissions can still be sent in until November 29 to Ms Vuyokazi Majalamba and be addressed to the Portfolio Committee on Health, 3rd floor, 90 Plein Street, Cape Town 8000; e-mailed to vmajalamba@parliament.gov.za; or faxed to 086 694 3279 by the closing date.Those who make a submission should also indicate whether they would like to do a verbal presentation.

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