South Africa: Committee Chair Pleased With NHI Public Hearings

The chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, has thanked all role players who have contributed to the success of the public hearings into the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill.

"As the chairperson of the committee, I felt it extremely important to thank the parliamentary staff for the professional assistance they have provided to make it possible for the committee to perform its critical task of public participation on the NHI Bill since 25 October in Mpumalanga province until now in the Eastern Cape.

"Your support has not gone unnoticed and has made it possible for Members of Parliament to engage the public," Dhlomo said on Tuesday.

He said parliamentary staff have sacrificed their weekends and have travelled long distances criss-crossing Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape, Limpopo and Eastern Cape to provide support to the committee and the public during hearings.

The bill, Dhlomo said, has been referred to as an equaliser in the healthcare sector by many communities that have been engaged so far.

Dhlomo thanked municipalities for helping with logistical arrangements where the committee conducted public hearings.

He encouraged senior officials of the provincial Departments of Health to continue attending public hearings at a municipal level to get a first-hand account of the concerns raised by the people.

On Monday, the committee held the last leg of the Eastern Cape public hearings in Buffalo City Metro.

Dhlomo said the committee intends to start early next year to complete the public hearings in the remaining four provinces.

"The committee hopes that with the continued support provided by all the role players, the next hearings are going to be successful," Dhlomo said.

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