South Africa's Health Insurance Bill Now Goes to President

South Africa's National Health Insurance Bill has been passed in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). The controversial legislation now goes to President Cyril Ramaphosa, who must decide what to do next.

Marianne Merten of the Daily Maverick writes that according to the country's Constitution, a president can return a law to Parliament over procedural issues and concerns that it may not meet constitutional muster. Or he can refer the legislation directly to the Constitutional Court for a decision on its compatibility with South Africa's supreme law.

At a media briefing on Wednesday immediately after the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) passed the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill, Health Minister Joe Phaahla said the legislation would be implemented in stages once it got the presidential nod.

In June 2023, opposition parties raised concerns over the African National Congress's approval of the NHI Bill, citing potential corruption and public health facilities' general unreadiness. Section 27 of the country's constitution states that everyone has the right to access to healthcare. The NHI bill, which has been passed by the national assembly, is the manifestation of this provision, The Conversation wrote.


President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses a stakeholder consultative meeting on the National Health Insurance scheme (file photo).

Follow AllAfrica

AllAfrica publishes around 500 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.