South African leader approves disputed health regulation

(MENAFN) South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed a contentious bill into law aimed at providing universal health coverage and addressing the country's deep-seated disparities in medical care access. During the signing ceremony on Wednesday, Ramaphosa hailed the National Health Insurance (NHI) Act as a “transformational” step towards a fairer society.

“The provision of health care in this country is currently fragmented, unsustainable and unacceptable,” Ramaphosa stated, emphasizing that “the NHI Bill presents an innovative approach to funding universal healthcare based on social solidarity.” Currently, around 80% of South Africans rely on overstressed public health services, while about 16% have access to private healthcare through medical aid plans.

This legislative move comes just two weeks before a national election, with analysts forecasting that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) might lose its majority for the first time since it came to power three decades ago.



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