Doctors laud withdrawal of regulation

2014-07-31 00:00

DOCTORS are rejoicing about the government’s decision to withdraw regulations that would have dictated where they may open practices.

Sections 36 to 40 of the National Health Act had been on the books for 10 years, but were only signed into law by President Jacob Zuma late in May.

The regulations meant all health professionals, including dentists, dieticians and physiotherapists, had to apply to the Department of Health for “a certificate of need” to permit them to work in their chosen area, or deny permission. The certificates of need were to become compulsory from April 2016.

Spokesperson for the South African Medical Association (Sama), Dr Mzukisi Grootboom, said the office of the director-general of health announced this week the proclamation of the sections will be withdrawn on advice of the state attorney.

He said the certificates of need would have created extra administration and bureaucratic problems that would have hindered rather than sped up healthcare.

Doctors also protested in Parliament against the regulations when they were listed a decade ago.

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