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 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 ALP welcomes the opportunity to make a submission on the draft Medical Schemes Amendment Bill (“the draft Bill”) in so far as it deals with risk equalisation. We do so against the following background:
Section 27(2) of the Constitution imposes on the state a positive obligation to take reasonable measures to realise the right of access to health care services for all. By enacting the Medical Schemes Act, 131 of 1998 (the Act), government has created a powerful framework for the effective regulation of the private medical scheme industry.