The National Council of Provinces has approved the contentious NHI Bill. This development marks a significant step toward universal healthcare for all South Africans. According to EWN, the National Assembly passed the bill in June without amendments. It aims to reshape the country’s healthcare system comprehensively.
Eight provinces supported the bill, underscoring its divisive nature, while the Western Cape rejected it. During the final debate, major political parties, including the Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters, Inkatha Freedom Party, and the Freedom Front Plus, expressed scepticism, deeming the proposed model unworkable and stressing financial constraints.
Health Minister Joe Phaahla, however, urged unity in pursuing enhanced health services. He highlighted the need to collaborate and share available resources during challenging times, dismissing the argument of waiting for economic growth. Phaahla pointed to the success of the country’s health sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, showcasing the ability to roll out vaccinations efficiently and ensure equal access, regardless of financial means. The passing of the NHI Bill will reshape the healthcare landscape in South Africa, aiming to provide equitable and accessible health services for all citizens.
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