Parliament, Wednesday, 18 May 2022 – The Portfolio Committee on Health met today to consider a motion of desirability of the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill, with the majority voting in its favour and four rejecting it.
The committee will now schedule meetings to process the Bill clause by clause so that it can consider all the inputs made during provincial public hearings.
The NHI Bill was tabled in Parliament and referred to the committee in 2019. The Bill seeks to provide for universal access to healthcare services in accordance with the Constitution. It envisages the establishment of a National Health Insurance Fund and sets out its powers, functions and governance structures. The fund will purchase healthcare services for all registered users and seeks to address barriers to access.
The Bill will create mechanisms for the equitable, effective and efficient utilisation of the fund’s resources to meet the health needs of users. It also seeks to create mechanisms to preclude or limit undesirable, unethical and unlawful practices in relation to the fund.
The committee received its first briefing on the Bill from the Department of Health in August 2019. In 2020, the committee received a briefing from the Department of Health on the NHI pilot districts: evaluation of phase one implementation of interventions.
In facilitating effective public participation on the Bill, the committee conducted nationwide, in-person public hearings in all nine provinces, from October 2019 to February 2020. The public hearings were attended by 11 564 members of the public and various stakeholders across 33 district municipalities. A total of 961 oral submissions were heard by the committee during these hearings.
Additionally, the committee conducted virtual public hearings from May 2021 to February 2022. The committee received oral submissions from individuals and various groups, such as professional associations, civil society organisations, faith-based organisations, researchers, lobby groups, academics, traditional healers, public health entities, statutory bodies, government departments, sector experts, healthcare funders, medical aid schemes, healthcare administrators, hospital groups, political organisations, labour unions and other interested stakeholders.
In addition to the provincial and virtual public hearings, the committee received approximately 338 891 written submissions from the public. The written submissions were submitted electronically and in hard copies. The department responded to the issues raised during the public hearings on the 29 March 2022.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HEALTH, DR KENNETH JACOBS.
For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact the committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Yoliswa Landu
Parliamentary Communication Services
Cell: 081 497 4694
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