The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Tuesday questioned the constitutionality of the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill which was before Parliament.
This followed last week’s release of the NHI Bill by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.
The bill, which sets out to provide universal healthcare to all South Africans regardless of their financial circumstances, will now be processed by Parliament before it becomes law.
The battle for universal healthcare will continue in Parliament as the DA vowed to fight the NHI bill when it’s presented to the health portfolio committee.
The party said the bill, as it stood, would be a greater burden for South Africans and would not be for the benefit of the poor.
Questioning its constitutionality, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said the bill would limit the rights of citizens to make a choice on medical aid.
“It is on that basis that I and the party will be taking every measure possible oppose this bill. We believe that this bill may very well be unconstitutional.”
DA health spokesperson Siviwe Gwarube said the party would exhaust all avenues before it took a decision on whether to legally challenge the Bill.
“…And so a part of that process is to say Parliament needs to provide the assurance that legal services have in fact certified this bill as passing as constitutional.”