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South African president to sign health bill

Pretoria, May 14 (Prensa Latina) South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to sign into law the long-awaited National Health Insurance (NHI) bill on May 15.

According to a press release from the Presidency, this measure will transform South Africa’s health system and guarantee universal coverage of medical services.

The signing ceremony will take place at the Government Palace (Union Buildings) in Pretoria.

During the last State of the Nation address in February 2024, Ramaphosa revealed that the State was working to improve the quality of health care and equal access, given that the situation of the country’s healthcare system significantly affects people’s lives.

At the debates on that speech, Health Minister Joe Phaahla said that the NHI will be implemented in two phases, from 2024 to 2026, while between 2026 and 2028 the Government will focus on establishing the Board and CEO and several key committees of the NHI Fund.

We trust that innovative infrastructure financing, as stated by the president, will also contribute to health facilities, the Minister told the legislature.

In this way, South Africa will overcome critical socioeconomic imbalances and inequalities of the past, the presidency stressed.

The NHI Bill, passed by the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces last year, seeks to provide free medical care in on-call facilities for all South African citizens, whether in public or private healthcare centers.