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 proposed Methodology for International Benchmarking of Prices of Medicines and Scheduled Substances in South Africa seeks to introduce an addition to the state’s regulatory tools used to ensure that medicines are appropriately priced in South Africa. As a public interest law centre that seeks to influence, develop and use the law to protect, promote and advance human rights, SECTION27 welcomes the publication of the proposed methodology and this opportunity to make further submissions to the Department of Health (DoH).
After stalling for some time, negotiations for an economic partnership agreement (EPA) between the European Union (EU) on the one hand and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), Mozambique and Angola on the other have recently restarted. According to an article published in Business Day on 10 February 2011, Xavier Carim – Deputy Director-General for international trade at the Department of Trade and Industry – is reported to have indicated that the EPA “should strike a balance between the levels of market access, regional harmonisation of rules, customs co-operation and safety, enforcement of intellectual property laws, competition, investment and procurement.”
SECTION27 and the TAC welcome the proposed increases in health expenditure outlined in the budget tabled by Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan on 23 February 2011. In particular, we welcome the Minister’s commitment to significant investment in strengthening the public health sector.
However, we are concerned that the additional R11 billion available for 2011/12 will not necessarily translate into improvements in the delivery of health care services in the absence of a reasonable plan to address endemic and systemic problems with budgeting and expenditure within health departments at all spheres of government.
We support implementation of a programme of HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) for Teens … but proper planning and protection of human rights of learners is essential.
The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), The Yezingane Network (YN) , Equal Education and SECTION27 welcome the Department of Health’s plans to extend HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) campaign to children 12 years and older.