Today's Labour News

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presidencyBL Premium reports that in the face of growing pressure from within the ANC, President Cyril Ramaphosa will sign the contentious National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill into law on Wednesday, setting the stage for a protracted fight with business, healthcare professionals and opposition parties.

The Bill sets in motion the government’s ambitious plans for universal health coverage, which to create a unified health system that provides patients with care that is free at the point of delivery, whether at a public or private facility. It was submitted to Ramaphosa in December last year. In a statement issued on Monday evening, the Presidency said Ramaphosa would sign the Bill into law at a public ceremony at the Union Buildings in Pretoria at 2pm on Wednesday. The Bill "directs the transformation of SA's healthcare system" and would "overcome the socioeconomic imbalances and inequities of the past", the statement indicated. The Bill paves the way for the creation of a government-controlled NHI Fund, which will be the sole purchaser of services provided under the scheme. The government has yet to specify how it will be financed, but the ANC has consistently said it intends to redirect the money employers and individuals pay to medical schemes into the NHI Fund by taxation, a proposition critics say is unviable. One of the Bill’s most controversial aspects its prohibition on medical schemes covering benefits provided by NHI, a provision critics say is unconstitutional.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Tamar Kahn at BusinessLive (subscriber access only)

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