NHI hearings begin

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The Portfolio Committee on Health will hold public hearings on the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill in the Free State Province, this week. Kicking off in Mangaung, the hearings are an invitation for members of the public to voice their opinions to Parliament on the Bill.

“The NHI Bill is intended to achieve universal access to healthcare services in South Africa which is a constitutional right. The NHI is a financing system that will ensure that the citizens of South Africa are provided with essential healthcare services regardless of social standing,” said Malatswa Molepo of the Parliamentary Communication Services.

The nationwide public participation process to ensure that the bill is strengthened and reflective of the views of South Africans from all sectors of the society.

“Public participation is one of the constitutional imperatives and the cornerstone of South Africa’s democratic dispensation.  The committee made a commitment of creating a platform for all interested parties across the country to express their views on the bill, and these hearings are a realisation of that commitment,” said Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, the chairperson of the committee.

The committee will hold hearings in the late afternoon with first taking place at 16:30 today, at the Kagisanong Community Hall in Rocklands, Bloemfontein. The next will also be at 16:30 at Harry Gwala Multi-purpose Centre in Zamdela, Sasolburg on Wednesday.

“To ensure that all the interested South Africans are afforded an opportunity to participate, the committee will hold the hearings in the late afternoon. The committee invites all the interested parties in the Free State Province to attend the hearings and make their contributions on the Bill,” explained Molepo.

Nomaqhawe Mtebele

nomaqhawe@mahareng.co.za