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Parliament, Saturday, 02 November 2019 – The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, told the residents of the Sol Plaatji Municipality in Kimberly yesterday, that the committee was there to listen to their views on the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill.

In welcoming the people and explaining the purpose of the hearings, Dr Dhlomo assured the people that all their views will be taken and get equal consideration. “We have come here to ensure that you exercise your constitutional right of participation in the law making process of the Bill. All your views on the Bill are very important,” said Dr Dhlomo.

In making their oral submissions to the committee, the majority of residents said that the Bill is long overdue and told the committee that negative perceptions around the effects of NHI and on the standard of the healthcare should be dismissed. The peole said that the medical aid is expensive and runs without funds by mid-year, hence they welcome the price regulations envisaged in the Bill.

The people told the committee that the Bill creates a new hope for them in the healthcare and that the challenges that are faced by public health facilties are going to be addressed. Also, the people told the committee that they hoped that the Bill is going to mitigate the challenge of delays in the healthcare system.

They welcomed the extension of the chronic medicine distribution programme as it will address the problem of long waiting at clinics especially by the elderly peole.

The committee also heard oral submissions that rejected the Bill. Those who rejected the Bill argued that NHI will create an additional burden to the economy of the country that is already battling. Furthermore, they said, taxpayers will have to bear the brunt of funding the NHI. They suggested that the government must increase funding of the current medical care system instead of introducing a system that’s gona need more money.

In thanking residents for their submissions, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo said: “Your participation in this process and your contributions are highly appreciated in this law making process.” He encouraged the residents to continue exercising their constitutional right of participation in the law-making processes.

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 (NHIF) 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 will today move to the Emthanjeni Local Municipality in De Aar.

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: Felicia Lombard (Ms)
Parliamentary Communication Services
Tel: 021 403 8285
Cell: 081 548 7011
E-mail: flombard@parliament.gov.za