Organised business says it is optimistic that parliament will amend the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill’s provisions on the future role of medical schemes and soften the proposal to restrict them to offering cover for services not provided by NHI.

The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) is close to finalising its work on the bill, which is the first piece of enabling legislation for the ANC government’s plans for universal health coverage. The bill provides for establishing a central NHI fund to purchase services for eligible beneficiaries from accredited public and private sector providers that will be free at the point of delivery. But how it will be financed and exactly what benefits it will cover have yet to be determined...

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