Home South African Parliament rejects 24/7 clinic bill tabled by EFF

Parliament rejects 24/7 clinic bill tabled by EFF

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Tabling a report of the health portfolio committee, chairperson Kenneth Jacobs said the committee had concluded after deliberations that the bill in its current form would have massive implications to the Department of Health.

EFF MP Naledi Chirwa said the rejection of her party’s bill was yet another affirmation “that the ANC and its agents would never care about the people of this country”.

PARLIAMENT on Thursday rejected an EFF bill that wanted the clinics to operate 24 hours a day and seven days a week saying its implementation was not feasible financially, among other things.

EFF MP Susan Thembekwayo tabled her private member’s bill in 2018 and it was only considered two years later.

Tabling a report of the health portfolio committee, chairperson Kenneth Jacobs said the committee had concluded after deliberations that the bill in its current form would have massive implications to the Department of Health.

“The quantification of costs must be done before the bill could be considered. Moreover, it was of concern that the country was currently under financial stress and the department of Health would have great difficulty in adjusting its budget against requirements resulting from Covid-19,” Jacobs said.

DA MP Michele Clarke said her party supported the extension of access to medical care.

Clarke said they had concerns around the practical implementation of the bill and that it would not solve the current problem of access to health services.

EFF MP Naledi Chirwa said the rejection of her party’s bill was yet another affirmation “that the ANC and its agents would never care about the people of this country”.

“Today is firm reminder that when legislators of this House found an opportunity to legislate universal healthcare coverage in the form of supporting an EFF private members’ bill that was to see clinics open 24 hours a day and seven days a week, they chose to reject this opportunity because of political jealous and deep disdain for our people who continue to stand in queues at 4am in the morning just to collect medication and vaccinate infants and grandparent.”

Chirwa also said it was a lie that the bill was not financially feasible.

“The rejection of this bill is treacherous,” Chirwa said.

IFP MP Duduzile Hlengwa said the economic direction of the country should inform the reparation of the bill.

Hlengwa said that the noble proposal was not feasible due to the absence of a costing model.

Jacobs accused the EFF of jumping the gun with the bill while the National Health Insurance was still under consideration.

“They say they do not support the NHI bill and are seeking clinics to open at this time as early as 2018 on a 24 hours and seven days basis,” he said.

Cape Times

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