Parliament, Monday, 28 October 2019 – The traditional healers of the communities of Mpumalanga’s Thembisile Hani Local Municipality told the Portfolio Committee on Health during public hearings on the National Insurance (NHI) Bill, that the Bill is silent about them.
The hearings that started on Friday (25 October 2019) in Nkomazi Local Municipality took place in Thembisile Hani Local Municipality Sunday, where the traditional leaders used the opportunity presented to them by the hearings to express their feeling of exclusion in the Bill.
In presenting their oral submissions, the traditional healers told the committee that the Bill is a progressive move, but the government they said, must be aware that people are dying in hospitals yet the government ignores the indigenous services of traditional healers.
In welcoming and supporting the Bill with other people in the Thembisile Hani Local Municipality, the traditional healers said, for the Bill to be successful it should be inclusive of all forms of treatment including indigenous medications as there are traditional communities that believe in traditional indigenous medications.
Also, the people of Thembisile Hani Local Municipality warned the committee against spending more money on implementation of NHI and allocate less money on other basic and essential services like infrastructure, water and sanitation.
They said, in as much as they are looking forward to the implementation of NHI, but the government must ensure that other services are not ignored.
The Chairperson of the committee, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, said as the committee they are there to listen to the views and concerns of the people regarding the Bill and assured the people that all their views and questions will be thoroughly considered after the hearings when the committee will be dealing with the Bill in Parliament.
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.
The committee called for written submissions from the public on the Bill at the beginning of September 2019, and the closing date for submissions is 29 November 2019.
The hearings will continue today, 28 October 2019 in Gert Sibande District Municipality (Ermelo) at the Mayor Parlour at 16:30pm
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
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