The public health sector is in such a dire state and work to raise standards is progressing so slowly that most facilities won’t make the grade to provide services under National Health Insurance (NHI), the health ombud warned parliament on Wednesday.

NHI is the government’s plan for universal health coverage and aims to ensure everyone can obtain services that are free at the point of delivery. Its first piece of enabling legislation, the NHI Bill, is before parliament and proposes that a central fund purchase services from public and private health facilities, which must first be inspected and accredited by the Office of Health Standards Compliance (OHSC)...

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