Ramaphosa to brief world leaders on NHI

President Cyril Ramaphosa will brief world leaders and human rights champions including Graca Machel and former Prime Minister of Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland on South Africa's introduction of National Health Insurance, a statement from the Presidency said on Sunday.

The statement said Ramaphosa will meet with the group, known as The Elders on Tuesday in Cape Town. The controversial NHI bill has been made public for comment and political parties are grappling over modalities by which universal healthcare ought to be provided.

The statement said The Elders would be engaging with the details of the proposed National Health Insurance to see if the draft measures up to the standards of a sustainable and financially viable healthcare system, as determined by the World Health Organisation.

"The World Health Organisation defines universal health care as meaning all people and communities can use the promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services they need, of sufficient quality to be effective.

"At the same time, the use of these services should not expose users to financial hardship," the statement said.

The statement said The Elders will meet with Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize to engage with government leaders, health sector leaders and civil society to understand South Africa's journey to universal health coverage with the introduction of National Health Insurance.

"Parliament is currently engaged in public consultation on the National Health Insurance Bill which envisages access to health care based on values of justice, fairness and social solidarity," the statement said.

The delegation of The Elders will meet Parliament’s portfolio committee on health and Ramaphosa to discuss how best South Africa can introduce health reforms that will lead to universal health coverage.

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