Parliament, Thursday, 08 August 2019 – The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, has welcomed the National Health Insurance(NHI) Bill, tabled by the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize.
Under the NHI, government will provide a package of comprehensive health services for free at private and public health facilities, as part of its bid to provide more equitable access to quality healthcare.
Dr Dhlomo said the Bill has not yet been referred to the committee, although it has been tabled in Parliament. “We need to wait for the parliamentary processes to take place before anything can be done. I commend Minister for tabling the NHI Bill to the Speaker of the National Assembly where it will take its process to reach the committee,” said Dr Dhlomo.
“We are extremely happy about this move. This is one of the equalisers of society, where those who are poor can get access to good healthcare. It is a public good and addresses issues of social solidarity. We cannot wait to deliberate on the NHI Bill and have it before the committee, so that those who are down-trodden can comment,” he said.
“We are confident that our people can see NHI as great benefit. It would be extremely important to compare the life expectancy before and after the NHI has been implemented. South Africa is learning from those who came before us and who have implemented NHI. NHI is a vehicle of making every citizen have access to healthcare.
“We are not aware of any country in the world that completed everything else before it started with NHI, either fixing clinics, rebuilding hospitals, employing adequate staff and getting ambulances and everything else that they need,” said Dr Dhlomo.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HEALTH, DR SIBONGISENI DHLOMO.
For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact the committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Ms Yoliswa Landu
Parliamentary Communication Services
Tel: 021 403 8203
Cell: 081 497 4694
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