Public hearings on NHI bill welcomed
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Durban - Opposition parties have welcomed the proposed public hearings into the National Health Bill that are planned to be held across the country.
Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, chairperson of the committee on health, said hearings were due to start next month in Mpumalanga and move to the Northern Cape in November.
Yoliswa Landu from Parliament’s communication services said the hearings would be held across the country and would continue until next year.
She said they would announce the dates for the KwaZulu-Natal hearings and for other provinces once they had done all preparations and logistics.
The bill has met fierce resistance from some political parties that have argued against its feasibility. Dhlomo said communication about the hearings was sent to all parties represented in the National Assembly.
The former KZN health MEC said this was to give the parties an opportunity to inform their constituencies.
“I urge all people to read the pamphlets distributed by the Department of Health, so that they can educate themselves about how the NHI will benefit all South Africans.”
DA spokesperson on health
Dr Rishigen Viranna said they welcomed the hearings in the province, as it was a legal requirement for the views of the public to factored in.
He said the DA had already made public submissions to Parliament and had submitted a petition with thousands of signatures online. “We will be present during the hearings.”
The IFP’s spokesperson on health, Ncamisile Nkwanyana, also welcomed the hearings. She said it must be ensured that the hearings were accessible to the public and that people should be properly informed of where and when they would be held.
Nkwanyana added that the IFP supported the NHI Bill on condition that the level of service was of a high standard.