President Ramaphosa to sign NHI Bill into law

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to sign the National Health Insurance Bill (NHI) into law on Wednesday, 15 May 2024. 

According to the Presidency, the move will transform South Africa’s healthcare system and ensure universal coverage for health services.

Through this, the country will overcome critical socio-economic imbalances and inequities of the past.

The NHI Bill, passed by the National Assembly (NA) and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) last year, will provide free healthcare at the point of care for all South Africans, whether in public or private health facilities.

The Bill currently only requires President Ramaphosa’s signature for enactment.

Speaking during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in February, President Ramaphosa said the State was working tirelessly to improve healthcare quality and access equality, despite the country’s health system significantly impacting people’s lives.

During the debate on President Ramaphosa’s SONA, Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla, announced that the NHI will be implemented in two remaining phases from 2024 to 2026, while between 2026 and 2028 government will focus on establishing the Board and CEO and several key committees of the NHI Fund. 

“We are confident that the innovative funding of infrastructure as stated by the President will also contribute to health facilities,” he told Parliament at the time. 

In the meantime, the Minister said his department was strengthening key delivery areas. These include the healthcare benefits design, digital health systems, and risk identification and fraud prevention.

The signing ceremony will take place at the Union Buildings in Pretoria at 2pm. 

Phaahla will conduct a question-and-answer session with the media immediately after the ceremony. – SAnews.gov.za