oa South African Health Review - Health legislation : cross-cutting health systems issues

Volume 2005 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1025-1715



Health legislation can encompass almost any legal instrument that has a bearing on the health of the individual or community. To comprehensively cover all possible aspects is thus beyond the scope of a publication of this nature. This chapter focuses on the most important event of the last year, the promulgation of most of the National Health Act (Act 61 of 2003) ('Health Act'). This is the fundamental piece of health legislation that will shape the future of the South African health system. While the past year has not seen a large number of new Acts, some have been amended or brought into effect. The Minister of Health has also announced a very ambitious legislative programme for 2005. A feature of the past year has been the number of very important legal challenges to aspects of new health legislation, notably relating to termination of pregnancy and both traditional / complementary and orthodox medicines legislation.

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