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Mkhize calls for calm following opposition to NHI Bill

The NHI Bill was meant to help equalise health care and guarantee access to the best kind of care to everyone in the country whether they are well off or poor.

FILE: Health Minister Zweli Mkhize. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has called for calm following concerns raised by the private healthcare sector about the National Health Insurance model.

The minister last week submitted the NHI Bill.

The bill was meant to help equalise healthcare and guarantee access to the best kind of care to everyone in the country whether they were well off or poor.

Numerous bodies, including the South African Private Practitioners' Forum, and political parties said it was unrealistic, too expensive, and would potentially damage the healthcare sector.

However, Mkhize was confident the model would be successful and not steer the sector in a financial crisis.

"The issue is not whether there is something wrong with the private sector. Both the public and private sector need to be realigned and that’s what we are doing. And it’s not like we are taking money from the one and giving it to the other," he said.

"The reality is that the country needs a much more equitable redistribution of the resources inside the same system," he added.

After Parliament’s health committee discussed the bill, it would be open for public consultation.