NHI Bill – Here's what you need to know

NHI Bill – Here's what you need to know

The passing of the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill has been delayed for a week. 

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The National Council of Provinces were meant to debate and vote on the controversial Bill on Wednesday.


But the process was disturbed by the DA's points of order on the postponement of the bill. 


National Assemble gave the contentious bill the thumbs up in June which later was described by Health Minister Joe Phaahla as 'revolutionary'.


"It is a major milestone. We believe that this lays the foundation for major reform which is needed in our country," he said. 


But before that milestone is reached, it needs to be passed through the NCOP and signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa. 


But government has been warned that the bill needs intensive reworking, as it could be catastrophic on the country's healthcare system. 


The presidency’s Vincent Magwenya said Ramaphosa acknowledge the warning and will not be rush in giving his stamp of approval. 


But with all this talk, parliamentary processes and concern from the health fraternity, what do we actually know about the NHI Bill? 


- According to the Health Department when the Bill is signed into law it will give universal health care coverage to all South Africans of all races, ethnic groups, ages, rich and poor - through a fund, funded by government. 


- The fund will be funded through taxes, people earning above a certain threshold, contributions employees make through contributions. 


- The fund will act as a medical for all South Africans and those legal long-term South African residents, which will ensure all are able to access free health care when needed - with no added fee. 


- According to Parliament the NHI will close the gap between health care treatment on your socio-economic status. 


- The government claims South Africans will no longer need a medical aid for quality healthcare.

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