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The slow pace at which the government is moving on the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill has drawn the ire of SA’s biggest trade union federation, Cosatu, which plans to raise the issue at Monday’s meeting between the ANC and its alliance partners, Cosatu and the SACP. “We are clear it should dominate the meeting,” said Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla. NHI, which was formally approved by the ANC at its 2009 policy conference in Polokwane, was supposed to be fully implemented within 14 years of the publication of the NHI Green Paper in 2011. However, it has been plagued by a series of delays, and last week the cabinet failed to give the green light to the controversial bill. The bill is the first piece of enabling legislation for extensive health reforms aimed at realising the ANC-led government’s ambition of providing universal health coverage. It paves the way for a central fund that will purchase health services on behalf of patients from accredited public and private sector pr...

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