by NOKUTHULA HLATSHWAYO
BUSHBUCKRIDGE, (Mpumalanga Guardian) – RESIDENTS have welcomed the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill, which they believe will address the imbalances of the past, create employment opportunities for the youth and ensure equal health services.
Locals came out in numbers for the public hearings on the bill, held in the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality this past weekend.
Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health, introduced the bill to the residents.
Residents told the committee that health was a constitutional right and hence they hoped that they would receive equal health services.
They believe in addition to addressing the imbalances of the apartheid era, young and old people in the historically disadvantaged communities would benefit in the same way.
The prevailing sentiment was that the government must prioritise healthcare as it recently did to save government-run companies like Eskom and the South African Airways (SAA).
In their oral submissions, residents thus urged the committee to accelerate the NHI Bill process.
The objective of the bill is to achieve universal access to quality health care services in South Africa in accordance with section 27 of the Constitution.
The committee called for written submissions from the public on the Bill at the beginning of September 2019.
The closing date for submissions is November 29.