The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) select committee on health and social services has adopted the contentious National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill without making any changes, dashing the private healthcare sector’s hopes that MPs would soften its provisions on the role of medical schemes.

The development takes the bill one step closer to final approval by the ANC-dominated NCOP, which is expected to vote in favour of it next week, and then submit it to the president for assent. The bill proposes sweeping reforms to SA’s healthcare system that include establishing a single NHI fund to purchase healthcare services on behalf of eligible patients and reduce the role for medical schemes sharply...

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