SECTION27 recently provided comments on the National Health Amendment Bill, B24 – 2011, to the National Assembly Portfolio Committee on Health. Polity’s Chanel de Bruyn interviewed SECTION27 attorney Umunyana Rugege about the submission. To view the interview or download the submission click “Read more” below.
Find the full submission by clicking “read more” below.
SECTION27 welcomes the opportunity to provide comments on the National Health Amendment Bill, 2011 (“Bill”) to the National Assembly Portfolio Committee on Health (“Committee”). We are very encouraged by the move by the Department of Health (“Department”) in taking steps to establish a single, accountable and independent Office of Health Standards Compliance (“Office) that has wide and far reaching powers to ensure quality health care services in both the private and public health systems. We consider this to be an important part of the state’s responsibility in terms of section 27 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (“Constitution”) to take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of the right to have access to health care services.
SECTION27 made a submission to the Department of Health on 22 April 2011 on the draft National Health Amendment Bill, 2011 (“the draft Bill”). In so doing, it recognised the publication of the draft Bill as the first legislative step towards the establishment of a single, accountable and structurally and operationally independent Office of Health Standards Compliance (“Office”) with jurisdiction over the private sector and the public sector at all spheres of government. Importantly, however, SECTION27’s submission came to the conclusion that the proposed Office, as contemplated by the draft Bill, does not have an adequate level of structural and operational autonomy. SECTION27 is of the view that the proposed mandate of the Office cannot be discharged effectively unless it has an adequate level of structural and operational autonomy.
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.