COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSON APPRECIATES HARD WORK AND DEDICATION OF ALL ROLE-PLAYERS ON NHI BILL PUBLIC HEARINGS

Parliament, The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Health, Dr Sibogniseni Dhlomo, has attributed the success of the public hearings on the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill on deep commitment and dedication of the stakeholders, especially Members of Parliament and parliamentary staff.

He commended and appreciated the work he described as sterling on the hearings in the provinces where the committee has conducted public hearings on the Bill. As the Chairperson of the committee, I felt it extremely important to thank the parliamentary staff for the professional assistance they have provided to make it possible for the committee to perform its critical task of public participation on the NHI Bill since 25 October in Mpumalanga province until now in the Eastern Cape. Your support has not gone unnoticed and has made it possible for Members of Parliament to engage the public, Dr Dhlomo said.

Dr Dhlomo added: Public participation is a mainstay of the democratic dispensation and translates Parliament of the People by the People into reality. That is the primary reason that the contribution made in ensuring the public hearings are a success should be commended, Dr Dhlomo emphasised.

Dr Dhlomo emphasised that the appreciation is in the context that the parliamentary staff have sacrificed their weekends and have travelled long distances crisscrossing Mpumalanga, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Northern Cape, Limpopo and Eastern Cape provinces providing support to the committee and the public for the success of the hearings on the Bill which has been referred to as an equaliser in the healthcare sector by many communities that have been engaged so far.

Dr Dhlomo also appreciated the assistance provided by the municipalities on logistical arrangements where the committee has conducted the public hearings on the Bill. Furthermore, Dr Dhlomo said: We encourage the senior officials of the provincial department of health to continue attending public hearings at the municipalities in the province to hear first-hand concerns raised by the people.

The committee will today hold the last leg of the Eastern Cape public hearings in the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality.

The committee intends to start early next year to complete the public hearings in the remaining four provinces. The committee hopes that with the continued support provided by all the role players the next hearings are going to be successful.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa