SACP and COSATU picket in support for NHI Bill

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Members of the SACP and COSATU in Mpumalanga picketed outside the government complex in Mbombela to demonstrate their support for the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill.

Business had objected to the bill, claiming that it was approved by the Select Committee in the NCOP without taking into account submissions made.

The NCOP is expected to deliberate on the National Health Insurance Bill and if passed, it will go to President Cyril Ramaphosa to sign it into law. The bill aims to establish universal healthcare for all South Africans. Services will be free to the public at the point of delivery.

“NHI will help us a lot. When we go to government hospitals, we don’t get help because it’s always full, whereas people who have medical aid get assisted. Yet government gives them a subsidy and we don’t get it. Ambulances pick us up and they expect us to pay for that,” a resident said.

“As residents of Mattafin we ask that government build a clinic for us because most of us are unemployed and we walk long distances to hospitals around. Another problem is when a private ambulance picks you up, they call you to say you owe money, so we agree with NHI,” another resident explains.

Members of the tripartite alliance are in support of the bill to be passed into law.

“We here today to show our support to the government that they must put this bill into law. We support them fully if there will be anybody who is unelected who will try to put this bill at a disarray with whatever with means of delaying it. The SACP is more than ready to take that person hands on,” says Mpumalanga SACP Secretary Lucky Mbuyane.

“You can expect a big fight from COSATU because if you say you don’t want NHI to be implemented, you are saying the poor must go and die, workers today including those with medical aid, they are just the same, you can’t access equal health care in SA, if you have a medical by February, March there is nothing left,” says Provincial COSATU Chairperson Life Monini.

Both SACP and COSATU want the bill passed and it be signed into law for the benefit of all South Africans.

Video: SACP, COSATU in Mpumalanga to picket for finalisation of NHI Bill