From CompliNEWS | Financial Service Intelligence Watch
Parliament’s Health Committee has run out of time to process the controversial National Health Insurance Bill in the National Assembly, reports BusinessLIVE. The NHI Bill is the government’s first piece of legislation in realising its plan for universal health coverage. Two weeks ago, the committee’s chairperson, Kenneth Jacobs, said MPs aimed to have the Bill adopted by the National Assembly before Parliament rises on 6 December. At that stage, a meeting had been scheduled for input from the Health Department on the issues raised during public submissions and MPs’ detailed deliberations on the Bill. That was to have been followed two days later by a meeting with the state law adviser and Parliament’s legal team. However, the meeting with the Health Department was postponed for a week, leaving the committee without enough time to complete its work on the Bill. Nicholas Crisp, the Health Department’s deputy DG for NHI, said last week’s meeting with the committee had to be postponed because both he and Health Minister Joe Phaahla had been among the delegation accompanying President Cyril Ramaphosa on a state visit to the UK. Crisp presented MPs with a series of changes proposed by the department, which largely sought to clarify definitions, remove inconsistencies, and close loopholes that were at odds with the government’s intent.