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Mediclinic News : LEGISLATION: NHI BILL FACES ‘RIGOROUS PARLIAMENTARY PROCESS’

Title

LEGISLATION: NHI BILL FACES ‘RIGOROUS PARLIAMENTARY PROCESS’

Date

2019-07-12

Link

https://legalbrief.co.za/login/

News Description

A National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill incorporating input on a draft released in June 2018 for comment is ready to be tabled in the National Assembly and ‘subjected to another rigorous parliamentary process’. Approved by Cabinet on Wednesday, the Bill provides for the establishment of an NHI fund reporting to the Minister of Health. According to a media statement on the outcome of Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting, the fund will operate as an autonomous public institution to be administered in keeping with the requirements of the 1999 Public Finance Management Act for Schedule 3A national entities. In this regard, among other things the Act deals with banking, cash management, and investment, annual budgets and audited financial statements. In his most recent State of the Nation Address President Cyril Ramaphosa said the process of revising a ‘detailed plan’ for the Bill’s implementation is ‘far advanced’. It includes ‘accelerating quality-of-care initiatives in public facilities’, ‘building human resource capacity’, establishing an ‘NHI fund structure’ and ‘costing’ its administration. Given the poor state of the public health sector, this could take decades to accomplish; it will require attitude change and vast sums of money. Yet according to yesterday’s post-Cabinet meeting statement, once the parliamentary process is complete the plan will be amended to give effect to the Bill’s transitional arrangements for ‘rolling out the NHI in phases’ – tending to create an expectation of imminent improvements to the quality of healthcare for ordinary South Africans. Addressing delegates at the presidential health summit last October, Deputy President David Mabuza alluded to the ‘challenges’ associated with financial resources management across the public sector – emphasising the importance of ‘value for money in purchasing health services’. How the government deals with this and widespread concerns about the fund’s primary source of revenue (Business Day) will determine whether NHI succeeds or becomes yet another unfulfilled promise and costly mistake.
Created at 2019/07/15 11:23 AM by Mediclinic
Last modified at 2019/07/15 11:23 AM by Mediclinic