Cabinet approved the National Health Insurance Bill last month, despite objections from some quarters.
PARLIAMENT - The National Health Insurance Bill was released on Thursday morning and the plan was explained by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.
The NHI is proposed to benefit all South African residents, residents, refugees, inmates designated foreign nationals and children.
As long as the system is accessed at the appropriate levels of entry and correct referral processes are followed, the services will be free.
The NHI fund will be funded through prepayment that aims to achieve "sustainable and affordable universal access to quality health care services".
The minister said, "this is in spite of the fact that government has tried its utmost since 1994 to ensure that everyone in this country has equitable access to necessary healthcare services."
"There are still serious challenges mainly caused by a skewed healthcare financing system. Without NHI, the burden of disease in the country will not be reduced because the majority of the population – and the section suffering the greatest ill health – will not access good quality healthcare."