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Board of Healthcare Funders gives NHI thumbs up

The Health Minister sent the Bill to parliament this month. It seeks to equalise the levels of care that South Africans can access whether they are well off or poor.

Stethoscope. Picture: Pexels

CAPE TOWN - The Board of Healthcare Funders has come out in support of the new National Health Insurance Bill.

The Health Minister sent the Bill to parliament this month. It seeks to equalise the levels of care that South Africans can access whether they are well off or poor.

Lead Researcher at the BHF Charlton Murove explained: “There’s a disproportion of resources between the private and public healthcare sector. There's underutilisation of hospital beds and professionals in the private sector.”

The ANC's parliamentary caucus is also backing the Bill, saying it's the first step to free, comprehensive and quality healthcare.

Acting caucus spokesperson Andile Mdleleni said: “The NHI will ensure that all South Africans receive free and quality healthcare.”

The Bill has not been universally supported though. Critics said it was unrealistic and would be prohibitively expensive, with the middle-class bearing the tax burden that would fund it.

The Democratic Alliance has written to the Speaker of Parliament, asking for an urgent legal opinion on its constitutionality.

And doctors in private practise earlier this week issued dire warnings that if the Bill passed in its current form it could destroy healthcare in South Africa.

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