National health insurance a step closer as Cabinet approves Bill

2019-07-11 14:00
Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu briefs the media on the outcomes of the Cabinet meeting. (Supplied, Twitter)

Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu briefs the media on the outcomes of the Cabinet meeting. (Supplied, Twitter)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

National health insurance (NHI) is one step closer to becoming a reality after Cabinet approved the NHI Bill of 2018, ready to be tabled and debated in Parliament, Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu announced.

"In 2018, Cabinet approved that the Bill be released for public consultation over a three-month period, from June to September 2018.

"The inputs received from this process have been incorporated into this latest version, which will be subjected to another rigorous parliamentary process," Mthembu said, addressing the media on the outcomes of Wednesday's Cabinet briefing.

Mthembu said the Bill will give effect to the National Development Plan to provide for universal quality healthcare services to all South Africans, irrespective of their socio-economic backgrounds.

"It will address the current health system that serves only 16% of South Africans whilst excluding the overwhelming majority."

The Bill provides for the establishment of a NHI Fund as a public entity reporting to the Minister of Health, to be governed by the Public Finance Management Act.

Mthembu said once the Bill has been passed, the existing draft implementation plan will be amended accordingly to give effect to the transitional arrangement of rolling out the NHI in phases, including the repeal or aligning existing legislation.

He added that Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize would hold a separate media briefing to unpack the bill.

Former health minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said last year that the transition was expected to take approximately 15 years in three phases. Phase two began in 2017 and will end in 2022. In theory, the system should finally be ready by 2026, he said at the time.

Last week, the DA indicated that the Bill would not go through Parliament "uncontested".

After Mkhize told the Portfolio Committee on Health that the NHI Bill was on its way to becoming a reality, DA MP and spokesperson on health Siviwe Gwarube said in a statement released after the meeting that a report on the feasibility of the NHI pilot projects had never been made public.

"The road to universal healthcare is not limited to this problematic piece of legislation. More concerningly, is the establishment of yet another state-owned-enterprise which will open up the public purse to looting by the politically-connected few."

She said the DA had long held the view that universal healthcare was possible, but that the NHI, as proposed by the ANC government, was too expensive and not feasible. 

"The ANC forcing through the NHI will not go uncontested, the DA will fight this and propose a credible plan that will ensure that every South African has access to proper and quality public healthcare," Gwarube said.

GET THE NEWS at your fingertips and download the News24 app for Android or iPhone.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    jackson mthembu  |  health  |  parliament 2019  |  nhi
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.