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SolidarityTrade union Solidarity announced on Thursday that it had issued a court application against the Director-General of Health, the Minister of Health and the President to have sections 36 to 40 of the National Health Act declared unconstitutional.

These sections provide for the introduction of a “certificate of need” in terms of which healthcare practitioners will have to apply to the state for approval regarding where they may practise. According to Solidarity, the provisions of these sections, as well as any resultant regulations, are unconstitutional and unlawfully infringe upon the rights of healthcare practitioners. “Although the provisions contained in sections 36 to 40 of the National Health Act have not yet been implemented, proposed regulations have already been published that precede the implementation of the sections. The proposed regulations are clearly unconstitutional on various grounds as set out and discussed in Solidarity’s application. Instead of addressing the need for healthcare and broadening access to health care, the scheme is merely a license to be issued to practitioners if they meet the Director-General’s set requirements. This will be to the detriment of all South Africa citizens,” explained Henru Krüger, head of the Health Guild at Solidarity. He went on to assert: “We believe the provisions are irrational and without any logical link to the alleged objectives. The proposed licensing requirements seriously infringe upon the rights of healthcare professionals to practice their profession according to their own discretion.”

  • Read the full original of Solidarity’s press statement in the above regard at Solidarity News

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