Claims public participation was not considered in NHI Bill refuted

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The Deputy Director General of National Health Insurance (NHI) at the Department of Health Dr Nicholas Crisp has refuted claims that public participation was not considered.

This as the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) passed the NHI Bill despite the criticism by healthcare organisations, businesses, and opposition on the lack of consultation.

He does however add that the public’s views have not been incorporated into changes entirely. Crisp says he attended consultations.

“In terms of consultation, I’ve personally attended almost every one of the Parliamentary hearings through the National Assembly and the NCOP over the last 2 and a half years since COVID and there has been lots of input. I have personally read all 117 of the presentations that were made, some of them I attended as well. And I’ve heard the debates and discussions that took place in the various committees.”

Meanwhile, Crisp says he is pleased that the NHI has passed its first hurdle, after 30 years. The NHI is expected to be implemented in stages once President Cyril Ramaphosa has approved it.

However, healthcare organisations, businesses and oppositions have urged President Ramaphosa not to sign the bill into law.

Crisp says they are frustrated it has taken so long to get this far.

“What will happen is a slow building up of capacity and shifting of funds so those who detract will make big statements like R200-billion additional money to be provided without qualifying that is a portion of the money that’s already being spent in the public sector and the private sector. So, we already spending R265-billion a year in the public sector and the private sector, we already spent as South Africans R277-billion and this is collectively the money we should be giving a decent health service and we are not.”

National Council of Provinces passes NHI Bill: