The long-awaited National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill will soon be submitted to parliament, President Cyril Ramaphosa promised in his state of the nation address (Sona) on Thursday night. However, he did not say that the fiercely contested bill had been approved by Cabinet, which suggests further work may still be done on it before it is considered by SA’s legislators. “This year, we will take a significant step towards universal access to quality healthcare for all South Africans. After extensive consultation, the NHI Bill will soon be ready for submission to Parliament,” Ramaphosa said in his speech.

“By introducing the NHI together with a multipronged quality improvement programme for public health facilities, we are working towards a massive change in the healthcare experience of South Africans,” he said. Even if the bill is poised to be tabled in parliament, MPs will not have enough time to process it before the upcoming election in May, as it will have to be considered b...

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