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NHI public hearings to resume in Bloemfontein today

Parliament has called on all South Africans interested in universal healthcare to make submissions.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize released the National Health Insurance Bill in Pretoria on 8 August 2019. Picture: Thando Kubheka/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Public hearings on the National Health Insurance Bill (NHI) resume in Bloemfontein on Monday afternoon.

Parliament has called on all South Africans interested in universal healthcare to make submissions.

The health portfolio committee will this week take the hearings to the Free State.

The public hearings into government’s proposed NHI started in Mpumalanga in November when hundreds of interested organisations voiced their concerns about the bill.

The Democratic Alliance also stated it believed the hearings were too politicised, accusing the African National Congress of bussing people in and handing out misleading pamphlets.

The health committee said the Bloemfontein leg was the continuation of the nationwide public participation process to ensure that the bill was strengthened and reflective of the views of South Africans from all sectors of society.

It said the NHI Bill was intended to achieve universal access to healthcare in South Africa, which was a constitutional right.

Health committee chairperson Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo said public participation was one of the constitutional imperatives and the cornerstone of South Africa’s democracy.

He said the committee made a commitment to creating a platform for all interested parties across the country to express their views on the bill.

The hearings move to Sasolburg on Wednesday.

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