DA welcomes health proclamation ruling

2015-01-27 20:57

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Johannesburg - The DA on Tuesday welcomed the Constitutional Court's decision to set aside a proclamation which effectively criminalised the provision of health services without a certain certificate.

"We are delighted the Constitutional Court has vindicated the DA’s long-held contention that Proclamation 21 was at odds with the Constitution, which guarantees everyone the right to life and access to health care," DA MP Wilmot James said in a statement.

"It has been near impossible thus far to obtain a certificate of need because the health minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has not yet prescribed regulations regarding the application and granting of certificates."

James said he met Motsoaledi in June and asked him to refer the matter back to Parliament's health portfolio committee. He claimed that had Motsoaledi done this the legislation would never have been passed.

"Parliament should never pass legislation without first interrogating the regulations first.

"Government must now focus on finding ways to incentivise medical professionals to establish clinics and related services in under-serviced areas, instead of adding more red tape," James said.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Constitutional Court declared Proclamation 21 of 2014 invalid and set it aside, without making a costs order.

Zuma signed the proclamation in March, bringing certain sections of the National Health Act into force as of April last year.

The sections criminalised the provision of health services without a properly issued certificate of need.

However, no providers can yet obtain such a certificate because the health minister has not yet prescribed regulations regarding the application and granting of certificates.

The court found issuing the proclamation had led to an untenable and unintended situation which could inhibit or discourage health care practitioners from providing essential services, at the risk of criminal sanctions for doing so.

Read more on:    da  |  aaron motsoaledi  |  wilmot james  |  bloemfontein  |  health

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