NHI Bill approved for submission to Parliament

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Cabinet has approved the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill of 2018 for tabling in Parliament, following its release for public consultation last year.

In 2018, Cabinet approved that the Bill be released for public consultation from June to September.

Briefing the media on the outcomes of Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting, Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu, said the inputs received from the public consultation process have been incorporated into the latest version, which will be subjected to another rigorous parliamentary process.

Mthembu said the bill will give effect to the National Development Plan (NDP) that seeks to provide universal quality healthcare services to all South Africans, irrespective of their socio-economic background.

“It will be based on values of justice, fairness and social solidarity. It will address the current health system that serves only 16% of South Africans whilst excluding the overwhelming majority,” Mthembu said.

The NHI Bill provides for the establishment of the NHI Fund as a public entity reporting to the Minister of Health. It will be established as an autonomous schedule 3A under the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act 1 of 1999).

Once the bill has been passed, Mthembu said, the existing draft implementation plan will be amended accordingly to give effect to the transitional arrangement of rolling out the NHI in phases.

“The transition period will also allow for the repeal of certain pieces of legislation to enable alignment and coherence,” the Minister explained.

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize is expected to hold a meeting next week with key stakeholders to unpack the bill, following the department’s budget vote on Friday. – SAnews.gov.za