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Parliament, Sunday, 17 November 2019 – The majority of the people of the Greater Tzaneen and Fetakgomo Tubatse in the Mopani and Sekhukhuni districts in the Limpopo Province, urged the Portfolio Committee on Health to fast-track the finalisation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill to ensure its immediate implementation.

They made the call in their oral submissions to the committee during the public hearings on the Bill after the Chairperson of the committee, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, told them that according to President Cyril Ramaphosa, the NHI will be implemented incrementally until 2026.

The committee arrived in the Vhembe District’s Thulamela Local Municipality in Limpopo Province on Friday 15 November, where the first leg of the public hearings on the Bill in the Limpopo Province took place.

The people of the Mopani and Sekhukhuni districts told the committee that they viewed the Bill as an instrument that will bridge the existing gap between the rich and poor people, and that the implementation of the NHI is long overdue.

Like in the Vhembe district, the people who made oral submissions in Mopani and Sekhukhune districts argued that the Bill should make a provision for the traditional health practitioners.

In the Sekhukhune district, some of the people asked the committee to strengthen its oversight over the Department of Health to ensure that clinics do not run out of medicines. Furthermore, they told the committee that, as part of norms and standards of the NHI Fund, the clinics should have at least one medical doctor.

NHI Fund appears in section 9 of the Bill and will operate as an autonomous public entity. It will have a board that will be appointed by the Minister of Health.

The committee told the people that it will consider all the submissions on the Bill after the process of public hearings has been concluded in all the nine provinces.

The committee will wrap up the public hearings in Limpopo tomorrow, Monday, 18 November in the Capricon District Municipality, Polokwane.

Details of the public hearings are as follows:

Date: Monday, 18 November 2019
Venue: Jack Botes Town Hall
Time: 16:30-20:30

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 Chairpersons, please contact the committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Mr Justice Molafo
Tel: 021 403 8444
Cell: 081 424 7481
Email: jmolafo@parliament.gov.za