There has been a lot of misinformation, misunderstanding and misinterpretation around the migration of Early Childhood Development (ECD) from Social Development Department to Basic Education Department and the introduction of the National Health Insurance (NHI) to achieve universal health coverage and offer quality health care services.
To help close the information gap the ANC Gauteng Province’s PEC Subcommittee on Education, Health, Science and Technology will on Saturday (05 October) hold a workshop to give an update to stakeholders on the incorporation of ECD into Basic Education Department and to foster a better understanding of NHI.
Branch representatives across the province, structures of the ANC, alliance partners, progressive civil society formations, and non-governmental organisations in the ECD, health, education and social development sectors are expected to take part in the workshop. ANC deployees in government Social Development MEC Comrade Thuliswa Nkabinde-Khawe, Education MEC Comrade Panyaza Lesufi and Health MEC Comrade Bandile Masuku will make presentations at the workshop.
“Given the fact that Gauteng offers the second largest provincial education system in the country and is committed to improving early childhood development to ensure more children can access this crucial building block of learning and the fact that we preside over a health system that is larger than four of our SADC countries combined, thus positioning Gauteng to strategically spearhead the implementation of NHI, it is critical that there is a common understanding around ECD and NHI,” explains Comrade Dr Rebecca Digamela the Education, Health, Science and Technology (EHST) Subcommittee chairperson.
The ANC’s 54th National Congress resolutions and its 2019-2024 Election Manifesto reflected on what ought to happen with ECD’s and NHI in the 6th Administration. In particularly, the workshop seeks to prepare our structures and society to be ready for the implementation of the following specific resolution;
• The ANC must ensure that there is systematic relocation of the responsibility for Early Childhood Development from the Department of Social Development to the Department of Basic Education (this excludes 0-4 age cohorts which remains under Social Development)
• The ANC should ensure that the implementation of the NHI remains a priority of government.
• NHI pilots should be expanded to include other areas that are currently excluded.
• The ANC must ensure that legislative framework on the NHI is finalized by end of the current term.
• The ANC supports the policy proposal by the health sector to use the money allocated to tax rebates to medical aids to fund the NHI.
Dr Digamela points out that the workshop also feeds into the current national process where the Portfolio Committee on Health has invited stakeholders and interested parties to submit written submissions on the National Health Insurance Bill on or before 29 November 2019 with public hearings on the bill getting underway this month.
The workshop will be held as follows:
Date: Saturday, 05 October 2019
Venue: Johannesburg City Hall, Hellen Joseph Street, Marshalltown in Johannesburg