Dr Sbongiseni Dhlomo Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

Cape Town - The National Health Insurance bill has been referred to Parliament's portfolio committee on health, the chairman of the committee, Sibongiseni Dhlomo, said on Monday.

Dhlomo said the committee would meet to discuss the draft law, adding that it would have an "extensive" public consultation process.

The long-awaited bill was sent to Parliament late last week.

It seeks to set up the NHI Fund, which will eventually become the sole purchaser of health care services in the country.

The bill has met with criticism, with the Institute for Race Relations terming it silent on key issues and its envisioned overhaul of the health care system a likely vehicle for graft.

African News Agency/ANA