Draft National Health Insurance Bill on Track

Department of Health

The Draft National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill will be placed before cabinet for approval in November 2017.

The health department revealed this during a briefing in parliament on its 2016/17 Annual Report.

The proposed legislation will then be published for comment.

The department plans to table the draft bill in parliament in March 2018.

The NHI White Paper was published in June 2017.

It sets out government’s proposals to put a universal health coverage system in place.

The NHI aims to pool funds to provide access to quality and affordable health services for all South Africans based on their health needs and irrespective of their socio-economic status.

It is described as representing a substantial policy shift that will require a significant re-organisation of the current health care system, both private and public.

The vision is that health care should be regarded as a social investment and not subjected to market forces.

The White Paper focuses on structural problems in the health sector, the burden of disease, the rationale and benefits of NHI, NHI coverage, organisation of the health care system and services under the NHI, financing of NHI, purchasing of health services and phased implementation.

7 NHI Implementation Structures were set up in July 2017.

The department also announced that a Draft Tobacco Products Bill was in the pipeline.

A final draft has been submitted to the department’s legal services for processing and submission to cabinet.

Sabinet Cape Town Office