Home South African ‘I found my pen’: Ramaphosa signs NHI Bill into law

‘I found my pen’: Ramaphosa signs NHI Bill into law

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President Cyril Ramaphosa officially signed the National Health Insurance Bill into law on Wednesday – a move he says will ensure that citizens receive equal health-care services.

President Cyril Ramaphosa signing the NHI into law at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Wednesday. Picture: Kamogelo Moichela, Independent Media

PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa officially signed the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill into law on Wednesday – a move he says will ensure that citizens receive equal health-care services.

The signing ceremony took place at the Union Buildings’ west wing courtyard in Pretoria on Wednesday afternoon.

This comes after five years of heated debates and public hearings over the authorisation of the bill. The bill was tabled in 2019.

Millions of patients, including the elderly, the disadvantaged and veterans will benefit from the newly authorised health insurance system, the bill states.

Addressing the media, Ramaphosa said the signing of the bill was a pivotal moment in the history of the country.

“In signing this bill, we are signalling our determination to advance the constitutional right to access health care as articulated in Section 27 of the Constitution.

“The motion of the bill sets the foundation for ending a parallel inequitable health system where those without means are relegated to poor health care,” he said.

He said this transformation is a commitment to eradicate the inequality of the health-care system in the country, adding that no citizen must endure pain while seeking health care.

According to the president, the bill will achieve universal coverage for health services and is critical to overcoming critical socio-economic imbalances and inequities of the past.

In signing the bill, Ramaphosa said they were preaching the same message as Section 27 of the Constitution.

Section 27 (1)(a) states that: “Everyone has the right to have access to health care services, including reproductive health care.”

It continues: “No one may be refused emergency medical treatment.”

Ramaphosa further urged people not to fear the NHI, stating that through health insurance, government has plans to improve the effectiveness of health-care provision by requiring all health facilities to achieve minimum quality health standards.

He said they wanted to make the lives of the people better.

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