In Practice

The role of the Minister of Health in the National Health Insurance Bill: Challenges and options for the Portfolio Committee on Health

G C Solanki, J E Cornell, S Wild, R L Morar, V Brijlal


The Portfolio Committee on Health (PCH) is responsible for obtaining public input on the National Health Insurance Bill, reviewing the Bill based on these inputs, and presenting the final Bill to the National Assembly. More than 130 individuals, organisations and institutions requested to make oral presentations, which commenced on 18 May 2021. Drawing on Parliamentary Monitoring Group meeting summaries and the presentations and submissions made by 82 respondents between 18 May and 10 September 2021, we examine governance concerns, especially in relation to the role and powers of the Minister of Health, and respondents’ proposals for addressing them, and outline the challenges and options for the PCH in responding to the proposals.

Authors' affiliations

G C Solanki, Senior Specialist Scientist, Health Systems Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa; Honorary Research Associate, Health Economics Unit, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Principal Consultant, NMG Consultants and Actuaries, Cape Town, South Africa

J E Cornell, Director of Institutional Development and Planning (retired), Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance, University of Cape Town, South Africa

S Wild, Postgraduate student, MPhil Public Law, University of Cape Town, South Africa

R L Morar, Chief Operating Officer, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Senior Director, Clinton Health Access Initiative, Pretoria, South Africa

V Brijlal, Senior Director, Clinton Health Access Initiative, Pretoria, South Africa

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South Africa; National Health Insurance; NHI; Universal health care; UHC; Governance; Minister of Health

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2022;112(5):317-320.

Article History

Date submitted: 2022-04-30
Date published: 2022-04-30

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