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Mkhize: NHI is not the nationalisation of healthcare

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Thursday addressed the National Assembly's health portfolio committee about the NHI Bill and allayed a number of concerns raised by Members of Parliament (MPs).

FILE: Health Minister Zweli Mkhize. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said that the National Health Insurance (NHI) was not the nationalisation of healthcare.

Mkhize on Thursday addressed the National Assembly's health portfolio committee about the NHI Bill and allayed a number of concerns raised by Members of Parliament (MPs).

The bill will establish the NHI Fund as a legally defined organ of state which will oversee universal healthcare.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize told MPs that the NHI was more like a social solidarity contract where all South Africans contributed resources for all to benefit.

He said that reports that the NHI was a form of nationalisation were unfounded and added it would not see the healthcare sector being taken over by government.

"If you give power to the national minister to render or procure services and then delegate it, that's not nationalistaion. Nationalisation is taking over ownership."

Mkhize said that MPs could not afford to dilly dally around the issue of NHI and should follow the lead of other African country's who had a similar health policy.

"We can't be the one country that's delayed so much - Zambia passed their bill last month, Ghana is moving on and I'm just saying that sometimes were getting so hesitant we're remaining behind some countries where we can show a lot of leadership and advancement."