Monday, 17 June, 2024
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NHI Bill meeting delay questioned

There is “no sinister reason” behind delays in a key meeting on the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill, says the chair of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Health after three postponements of a crucial meeting between legal services and the office of the state law adviser.

The meeting, which will guide MPs on their amendments to the Bill, has now been scheduled for next week, reports Business Day, however, the DA is hoping the delay means government is harbouring reservations about it.

Several MPs have privately questioned why work on the Bill has slowed, after the pressure at the end of 2022 to finalise it before the ANC’s elective conference in December.

DA health spokesperson Michele Clark said she hoped the delay meant the government was having second thoughts about the Bill.

“The committee secretary has simply said they are not ready for meetings yet. It’s very strange, as last year all of these people were constantly available two to three days a week, working until 11pm at night,” she said.

Committee chair Kenneth Jacobs said there was no “dark” reason behind the delays, and that Parliament’s legal services office had told the committee it was not available because staff were ill or had other commitments. The committee had only one scheduled meeting per week and needed another three or four sessions to finalise the Bill, he said.

Clark doubted whether the NCOP would complete its work before the end of the current administration.

 

BusinessLIVE article – No ‘dark reason’ behind delays in parliament’s meeting with legal advisers on NHI bill (Restricted access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

NHI Bill delayed

 

Rush to push through NHI Bill before ANC conference – but key questions still unanswered

 

Political battle lines drawn as NHI Bill deliberations start

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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