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 National Health Act (NHA) is arguably the most important Act passed by Parliament to give effect to the right of everyone to have access to health care services. This right is guaranteed by section 27 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, which places express obligations on the state to progressively realise socio-economic rights, including access to health care.
Printed copies are available from the AIDS Law Project for R90.
In February 2007 and May 2008 the AIDS Law Project made submissions on harm reduction legislation acting for and with the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa. In June 2008 a letter was also sent to the Minister of Social Development, Zola Skweyiya, on the subject.
The National Health Amendment Bill (the Bill) was simultaneously published with the Medicines Amendment Bill on 18 April 2008. Both Bills are some of the most important pieces of health legislation to be proposed in recent years. The Medicines Amendment Bill is the subject of a separate submission that accompanies this one.
The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and the AIDS Law Project (ALP) recognise the need for, and strongly support, legislative reform to ensure that the Medicines Control Council (MCC) is able effectively and efficiently to regulate medicines and other health products. This, we are told, is the ostensible purpose of the draft Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill, 2008 (“the draft Bill”).