The fiercely contested National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill will be tabled before the cabinet next week, presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko confirmed on Tuesday. The bill is the first piece of enabling legislation for sweeping health sector reforms being planned by the government in order to realise its ambitions of providing universal health coverage. The bill was released for public comment on June 21, and then revised by a small team led by presidential adviser Olive Shisana, after submissions closed on September 21. Their work on the bill ran into strong opposition from senior Treasury officials, who in early November raised concerns about a host of measures in the bill, ranging from new proposals that sharply diminished the role of medical schemes, to a lack of adequate consultation on its proposed changes, to the role of provincial health departments. The extent to which these issues have been resolved is unclear, as neither the Treasury, the presidency nor the department ...

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