President Cyril Ramaphosa has confirmed d that the NHI Bill will
be ready for submission to Parliament soon. Delivering his State of the Nation
address in Parliament earlier tonight, the President was short on details on
exactly when the much-anticipated Bill will reach Parliament after Cabinet
rejected the version submitted to it last year and sent it back to the
Department of Health for further work. According to sources, Cabinet did
discuss a revised Bill last week, but it was not clear whether the reviewed
version met its approval.
But according to Ramaphosa, “extensive consultation” has paved the
way for the Bill to be submitted to Parliament in the near future.
“The NHI will enable South Africans to receive free services at
the point of care in public and private quality-accredited health facilities. By
applying the principle of social solidarity and cross-subsidisation, we aim to
reduce inequality in access to healthcare,” the President said.
Referring to the War Room set up in the Presidency after last year’s
Presidential Health Summit, he said it was established to address the magnitude
of challenges in healthcare, particularly around quality.
“Consisting of various key departments, the War Room will address
the crisis in the public health system while preparing for the implementation
of NHI,” Ramaphosa said.
“By introducing the NHI together with a multi-pronged quality
improvement programme for public health facilities, we are working towards a
massive change in the healthcare experience of South Africans,” Ramaphosa said.