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 ALP made a submission to the KZN Health Department regarding draft of the Kwazulu-Natal Health Care Bill, 2007. In our view, the KZN Bill has the potential to complement the broad legislative framework provided by the National Health Act, 2003. In particular, it has the potential to provide much of the needed detail in respect of which the Act expressly authorises the provinces to legislate, thereby enabling provincial and local government authorities to render health care services in accordance with the needs of the people of KZN.
In recognising the important role entrusted to the Nursing Council (“the Council”) by the Nursing Act, 33 of 2005 (“the Act”), this submission is primarily concerned with ensuring that the process in terms of which members of the Council are appointed instills public confidence in that body.
South Africa has a strong legislative framework aimed at preventing HIV-related discrimination in the workplace.
Guidelines developed by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Code of Good Practice on HIV/AIDS which is linked to the Employment Equity Act (EEA) provide useful information on the content of HIV workplace policies.
In South Africa, as in any society, people’s health is a major factor in both personal and social development. But in South Africa, unlike many other societies, people have a constitutional right both to access health services and to be treated in a way that should improve their health. For example, the rights to dignity, authonomy and equality should all inform and have an impact on the right to health. But despite this, South Africa is a very unhealth society and many indicators of health are getting worse. The HIV epidemic, violence against women, and homelessness all have a negative impact on health.
This submission argues that there is a growing crisis of disease and ill health in South Africa that not only undermines the quality of life of millions of individuals, but also crucial programmes aimed at the reconstruction and development of the country. Much of this crisis could have been avoided. It results, in large part, from the failure of government to recognize the link between fundamental rights to dignity, equality and autonomy and the state’s constitutional obligations in respect of the right to have access to health care services.