NHI hearings to start in Gauteng tomorrow
Committee chairperson Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo says while they have attended several public hearings, a decision will be made to benefit of the country.
CAPE TOWN – Parliament’s health committee chairperson Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo says there’s no need for the hysteria around the national health insurance (NHI) Bill.
He says while they have attended several public hearings, a decision will be made to benefit of the country.
The NHI has been a hotly contested matter with many questioning its viability.
According to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize NHI could be fully implemented by 2026.
But this plan has not come easy for government as it has been questioned by several stakeholders.
Even in some communities, people are questioning this plan.
Parliament’s health portfolio hosted public hearings on the NHI in Beaufort West.
Dhlomo adds they would recommend the best decision for Parliament to debate and at the end be implemented.
“There is a group of other South Africans who say, while we welcome this Bill we have a number of concerns that we don’t see good staffing in our hospitals and find there is a shortage of medicine in some areas.”
The committee says it's confident the public hearings into NHI in Gauteng will be welcomed.
The hearings will kick off in Gauteng on Monday.
The committee has been travelling across the country since the NHI Bill was passed in parliament last year.
Dhlomo said, “One must appreciate that the process has been extremely democratic and fair going to other areas.
We are going to Gauteng now, that’s the last province. The committee had its presence in Beaufort West. If we had 200 people we would be happy, and if we had 900 people in the metro it would be okay.”
The Bill will enable government to meet its goal of universal health coverage, similar to that offered by the United Kingdom's National Health Service.