As the National Portfolio Committee on Health embarks on its public hearing process on the NHI, due to start tomorrow (25 October) in Mpumalanga, Parliament has confirmed that more than 100 000 written submissions on the Bill have already been received. This is more than a month before the extended deadline for submissions expires on the 29th of November.
Addressing the media, National Assembly’s chairperson of Committees and Oversight, Cedric Frolick said most of the submissions were received from groups who collectively submitted their input on behalf of communities and community organisations. Chairperson of the Health Portfolio committee, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo said although they had not looked at the written submissions, it seems as if most of them are questioning the financing and affordability of implementing NHI in the country.
He said the committee will look at the submissions once they get back from the public hearings, which are expected to be completed only in February next year. They will be visiting Nkomazi, Bushbuckridge, the Thembisile local municipalities and the Gert Sibande district municipality from tomorrow (25 October) until Monday after which they will move to the Northern Cape on 1 November. Dates for public hearings in other provinces will be communicated later. Dhlomo said the last province to be visited will be the Western Cape where the hearings will take place in February just before the President’s State of the Nation Address.
He said the committee would then start with the process of going through all the submissions and hopes to finish its work by June next year after which it will present a report to the Speaker on the both the submissions and the outcomes of the public hearings.
Mark Banfield is an independent consultant providing services to the Health Technology Sector.
Over 100 000 submissions received on NHI Bill: