At a press briefing in Parliament, the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, confirmed that already more than 100,000 written submissions had been received on the NHI Bill. Ahead of the upcoming public hearings on the bill, PMG caught up with Dhlomo.
The NHI Bill was introduced to Parliament in August 2019 and is currently under consideration by the National Assembly’s Portfolio Committee on Health. The bill is currently going through the stipulated parliamentary processes, including a public participation period, which might inform some amendments to the bill, before it is put before the National Assembly for a vote. The portfolio committee invited stakeholders and interested parties to submit written submissions on the bill (deadline is 29 November).
If the National Assembly passes the bill, it will be referred to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), for a similar process and concurrence. Because this is a Section 76 bill and affects the interest, concerns and capacities of the provinces, the more say the provinces will have on its content. If the NCOP passes it, it will then be referred to the president for assent. Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, chairperson of the parliamentary portfolio committee on health.