n CME : Your SA Journal of CPD - The National Health Act : some implications for family practice : main article

Volume 24, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-2170



Family practitioners need to have a basic knowledge of the National Health Act. <BR>The National Health Act brings health law into line with the Constitution. <BR>Family practitioners are 'health care providers' and patients are 'users' in terms of the Act. <BR>The Act gives people the right not to be refused emergency medical treatment. <BR>The Act sets out the criteria for consent to ensure patient autonomy. <BR>The Act specifies a hierarchy of persons who can give consent if the patient is unable to do so. <BR>The Act requires users to participate in any decision affecting their health or treatment even if they do not have the legal capacity to consent. <BR>The Act states that people should not be treated without their consent unless any delay may result in death or irreversible damage to their health and they have not refused the service. <BR>The Act provides that disclosure of health records may only be made with the written consent of the patient unless a court order has been obtained or non-disclosure would represent a serious threat to public health. <BR>The Draft Regulations for rendering forensic pathology services in terms of the Act provide an extensive definition of unnatural deaths.

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