The health department has made it clear that it plans to go ahead with the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) amid concerns about the proposed bill and the vast number of comments it has received.
The NHI Bill has been before Parliament for almost three years. Last week Dr Nicholas Crisp, the department’s deputy director-general in charge of the NHI, briefed Parliament once the public hearings were over.
Now that the bill has gone through the first stage, the National Assembly, it will get amended and go through a vote in the Assembly. Only after that, it can go through the National Council of Provinces and then the whole house will be able to vote on it.
Dr Crisp is positive that they will get a vote this year.
At an event in Sandton on Wednesday, Dr Crisp said they had received more than 100,000 comments.
“We are ready to respond to the wording and strengthening of the bill. We are not going to backtrack on creating one health system: it is not on our agenda. We want everybody in South Africa to get a good health system.”
The DA has been vocal about its plans to take the department to court over the NHI.
Dr Crisp commented on the matter.
“We know there are parties that have told us, outright, they are taking us to the Constitutional Court. We would have never tabled the bill if we were not confident we would win those cases. We are certain that, if we are challenged, we will be fine.”
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