oa South African Health Review - The GATS and South Africa's National Health Act : core health issues
Important aspects of South Africa's flagship health legislation, the National Health Act, conflict with legally binding commitments the former apartheid regime negotiated under the World Trade Organization's General Agreement on Trade in Services. This trade treaty conflict threatens to undermine the legislation and, if left unresolved, would make meeting the health needs of the majority of the population more difficult. South Africa has several options for resolving this conflict in favour of its health policy imperatives, but each entails risk. South Africa's dilemma should serve as a worldwide warning that health policy-makers, governments and citizens need to be far more attentive to international treaties governing services and ongoing negotiations to expand them. Hopefully, this increased awareness will spur action to ensure that South African health policy initiatives can proceed without World Trade Organization's General Agreement on Trade in Services interference.
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