Public hearings on NHI Bill to start in October

Questions have been raised over the government's ability to successfully implement and run the NHI. (iStock)
Questions have been raised over the government's ability to successfully implement and run the NHI. (iStock)

With public hearings on the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill set to begin in October, the chairperson of the portfolio committee on health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, has written to all parties represented in the National Assembly.

According to a statement released by Parliament on Sunday, the communication was to ensure all parties informed their constituencies of the hearings.

"Information about public hearings in other provinces will be communicated timeously before they begin.

"Dr Dhlomo said the public engagement process will also take place on weekends to accommodate people who are unavailable during the week. Venues, days and times will be communicated closer to the start of the public hearings," the statement said.

Dhlomo has called on participants to get clued up on the NHI beforehand.

"I urge all people to read the pamphlets distributed by the Department of Health, so that they can educate themselves about how the NHI will benefit all South Africans. The information is critical in order to assist the committee to contribute to the bill," he said.

The NHI Bill seeks to achieve quality universal health care in South Africa, as well as to establish a National Health Insurance Fund. the statement said.

Also, the bill sets out the powers, function and governance structures of the fund and provides a framework for the purchase of healthcare services on behalf of users.

"The bill further aims to create mechanisms for the equitable, effective and efficient utilisation of the resources of the fund to meet the health needs of the population, to preclude or limit undesirable, unethical and unlawful practices in relation to the fund and its users, and to provide for matters connected herewith," Parliament said.

The hearings will start in Mpumalanga from October 25 to 28, and then will move to the Northern Cape from November 1 to 4.

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