President Ramaphosa Signs South Africa’s Health Bill into Law


DLHA Staff writer



WEDNESDAY, MAY 15, 2024. South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed into law a contentious bill on Wednesday, May15 2024, that aims to provide universal health coverage.


The president on Wednesday hailed the law as a major step towards a more just society two weeks before an election that is expected to be fiercely competitive.


The National Health Insurance Act takes aim at South Africa’s two-tier health system


“The provision of healthcare in this country is fragmented, unsustainable and unacceptable,” he said at the signing ceremony at the Union Buildings, the seat of government in Pretoria.


“For those who would like to see (their) privileges continuing, sorry, you are on the wrong boat. The boat we are on is about equality,” he said.


The National Health Insurance (NHI) Act takes aim at a two-tier health system, in which a publicly funded sector that serves 84 percent of the population is overburdened and run-down while some people have access to better treatment through private insurance.


The legislation will gradually limit the role of private insurance, create a new public fund to provide free access for South African citizens, and set the fees and prices that private doctors and healthcare suppliers may charge for NHI-funded benefits.


Critics said the plan will drain already stretched public finances, limit patient choice, undermine the quality of care and drive talented doctors out of the country.


Source: South Africa Government News Agency



Published: May 15, 2024

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