SECTION27 is a public interest law centre that seeks to influence, develop and use the law to protect, promote and advance human rights. Our name is drawn from the section in the South African Constitution which enshrines everyone's right to health care, food, water and social security.
The AIDS Law Project (ALP) welcomes this opportunity to make written submissionson the Health Professions Amendment Bill [B 10 – 2006] (“the Bill”). As an organisation that has consistently sought to ensure that the Health Professions Council (“the Council”) holds health professionals to account, we welcome the Bill and the many positive contributions we believe it will make in advancing and safeguarding the public interest.
The AIDS Law Project (“the ALP”) takes this opportunity to thank you and the Innovation Fund’s Intellectual Property Management Office for facilitating and hosting the provincial consultation workshop held in Cape Town on 30 March 2006. My colleague Fatima Hassan and I found the event to be extremely useful in understanding the context within which the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) from Publicly Financed Research Framework (“the policy framework”) is situated. In addition, it provided us with an opportunity to float, consider and refine our formal submissions on the policy framework.
Apart from our obvious interest in this Charter as a provider of legal services, the AIDS Law Project has been centrally involved in broader efforts to expand access to justice. In February 2005, the ALP co-hosted a conference on improving access to legal services for people living with HIV.
Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Bill
The National Working Group on the Sexual Offences Bill made a submission on 30 October 2005. This submission begins by explaining why violence against women is an obstacle to the socio-economic development of South Africa. It then provides statistics on the extent of the problem before setting out the policies and laws which have been developed to address violence against women, or gender-based violence.
The AIDS Law Project (“ALP”) welcomes the objectives underpinning Sections 27, 70 and 71 (“the Sections”) of the proposed Draft Revenue Laws Amendment Bill, 2005 (“the Bill”) to increase access to private health services. In this way, the Bill seeks to achieve its objective through the provision of tax subsidies for medical contributions and expenses to self employed and formally employed persons, including their dependants (beneficiaries). It also aims to remove the distinction between on site and off site medical services, an area of the proposals that we are particularly supportive of.