+ The right to health

Disability Grants or Antiretrovirals – 2006

Disability grants or antiretrovirals? A quandary for people with HIV/AIDS in South Africa

Article by Chloe Hardy and Marlise Richter published in the African Journal of AIDS Research Volume 5 (1) 2006.

According to the Department of Social Development, disability grants are available to adult South African citizens and permanent residents who are incapacitated and unable to work due to illness or disability.

A number of people living with HIV/AIDS (PWAs) have accessed disability grants once they have fulfilled the criteria set down by the Department of Social Development. Current government policies entitle PWAs, a least in theory, to access antiretroviral medications. Where PWAs have been able to access antiretroviral treatment (ART) through the government’s antiretroviral programme, this has led to an improvement in their health and subsequent disqualification for a disability grant.

Appropriate dispensing fee, 2005

In an advertisement placed in the Sunday Times (dated 23 October 2005 and entitled “Call for Submissions”), the Pricing Committee invited “interested parties to provide input on an appropriate dispensing fee as envisaged in terms of section 22G of the Medicines and Related Substances Act, Act No. 101 of 1965” (the Medicines Act). In particular, the advertisement called for interested parties to “provide input on all issues that are relevant to the determination of an appropriate dispensing fee.”

Nursing Bill, 2005

The AIDS Law Project (“the ALP”) welcomes, in principle, the move by the Department of Health (“the DOH”) to repeal the Nursing Act 50 of 1978. The memorandum on the objects of the Nursing Bill (“the Bill”) states that its primary purpose is to “transform the Nursing Council so as to increase the protection of the interests of the public” as well as to increase the accountability of the Nursing Council (“the SANC”).

Patents Amendment Bill, 2005

The AIDS Law Project (ALP) and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) welcome this opportunity to make written submissions on the Patents Amendment Bill [B 17 – 2005] (“the Bill”). As two organisations that have consistently advocated for the development of our patent system into one that considers South Africa’s competitive advantage and takes into account the specific needs of its people, we support what the Bill aims to achieve and, in general terms, how it goes about accomplishing its stated objective.