KZN Health MEC Ms Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu urges the public to support National Health Insurance (NHI) by making submission to parliament; announce dates and districts for Province's public hearing

30 October 2019

KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Ms Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu has urged citizens of the province to make their submissions in support of National Health Insurance (NHI), and the drastic improvements that it will make in the provision of, and access to, healthcare services in the country.

Speaking during an Operation Sukuma Sakhe (OSS) community outreach programme at Mbongolwane, Eshowe, earlier today, MEC Simelane-Zulu also revealed for the very first time that public hearings about the NHI Bill would take place in the province during the weekend of 22 – 25 November 2019.

The MEC has described the current two-tier healthcare system as exclusionary, immoral, and an anomaly whereby 84% of the population uses public clinics and hospitals, yet the bulk of the country’s doctors, dentists and specialists work in the private healthcare sector.

She added that the amount of money spent on healthcare for each person with a medical aid scheme was five times more than that which is spent on each person who relies entirely on public health facilities.

All of this ultimately leaves the majority of the population in public hospitals not adequately catered-for.

The MEC described NHI as a tool that will end the race, class divisions that plague the country’s health sector.

She said that Government would continue reaching out to the public about the immense benefits of NHI.

"It is very important for us as Government to engage with our communities, and make our fellow compatriots understand what NHI is. The feedback that we’ve received has been extremely positive. People are upbeat and excited that Government is seeking ways to improve the quality of healthcare services, and to bring services closer to them. They are signing up, and making a commitment that they support NHI. Indeed, quality healthcare should not only be the preserve of those who are affluent. NHI will ensure that all the people of South Africa will have equitable access to healthcare. Currently, the level of help that you receive is determined by the size of your pocket, and essentially the colour of your skin, and that needs to change."

The NHI public hearings in KZN are scheduled as follows:

  • Friday, 22 November 2019, at Umkhanyakude District;
  • Saturday, 23 November 2019, eThekwini District;
  • Sunday, 24 November 2019, Harry Gwala District, and
  • Monday, 25 November 2019, Umzinyathi District.

Details on the exact venues will be announced in due course.

"We are currently distributing forms that must be filled in and submitted to Parliament in support of NHI. The public can write on a normal page, by hand, and express their thoughts. In those forms, we need the public to come out loudly and clearly in support of NHI, so that we can demonstrate to all and sundry – including the forces who are against this wonderful and life-changing programme - that the majority of the citizens of this country are in favour of NHI. We need our communities to say once and for all that never, and never again shall any person be denied access to healthcare and left to die just because their pockets are not deep enough. We need our communities to say unequivocally that all South Africans are equal, and deserving of equitable access to dignified healthcare. These submissions will then be sent to Parliament, so that our Government can implement this programme with full confidence that the citizens of this country believe in the process. We therefore call upon you to support us, and help us help you.” Written submissions must be directed to Ms Vuyokazi Majalamba and be addressed to the Portfolio Committee on Health 3rd floor, 90 Plein Street, Cape Town 8000, e-mailed to vmajalamba@parliament.gov.za  or faxed to 086 6943279 by no later than 29 November 2019. In addition to the written comments, participants are urged to indicate whether they wish to make a verbal presentation.

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This page last edited on 31 October, 2019

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