NHI: Khayelitsha public hearings in pictures
The recent public hearings on the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill in Khayelitsha drew a considerable crowd in the CBD Hall on Wednesday. Nasief Manie was there to capture the proceedings for Spotlight in pictures.
The hall was packed with residents from all over the Cape Town metro including Khayelitsha, Manenberg and Elsies River.
First off was the usual introductions by the chair of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Health Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo.
There were some reprimanding when the audience got too rowdy at times and Dhlomo had his hands full.
Then it was the residents’ turn to have their say on the NHI bill. Many took the opportunity to bemoan the current state of the health care system.
People came displaying their political affiliations on their heads, on T-shirts and dresses.
There were some ANC-supporters cheering those supporting the NHI bill.
DA-supporters were mostly seated at the top gallery overlooking the hall.
There was time for chit-chat and time for serious note taking.
Time to listen but mostly there were talking. Lots and lots of talking.
Some were politicians – local ward councillors.
Others were senior officials representing the provincial Department of Health in the Western Cape like Dr Beth Engelbrecht (HoD) on the right and Dr Keith Cloete who will take over as HoD in April.
Some came prepared with notes and papers.
There were those representing the Unions like Nehawu.
Others were there representing their party’s views.
There were some reflection by community healthcare workers.
Many listened to how the bill may affect them. Some community healthcare workers raised concerns over the uncertainty caused with NHI that may lead to an exodus of health workers.
Others cheered in agreement.
Not everyone was always listening. Some MPs were multi-tasking.
Others were having discussions of their own.
Some, like the traditional healers wondered how the bill will impact them.
So, they stood up and asked – what about us, our facilities and our medicines?
Others nodded in agreement.
There were accusations of alleged misinformation and propaganda on NHI by the DA-government.
Fingers were pointed and papers submitted as ‘evidence’ of the alleged propaganda.
So officials listened.
There were some caucusing during proceedings.
By the end of the proceedings over 80 people got up and had their say on the NHI Bill.
They came, they had their say, they left. Another public hearing done and dusted.