Con Court Declares ‘Certificate Of Need’ Invalid
The Constitutional Court on Tuesday ruled President Jacob Zuma’s decision to sign a proclamation forcing doctors to obtain permission before they find work at any private practice as “irrational and invalid.”
Zuma signed into law sections 36 to 40 of the National Health Act in March last year. The sections were meant to ensure an “equitable spread” of health professionals across the country. But according to these sections, doctors would need to first obtain permission from the Department of Health through a “certificate of need” before they found work at their desired locations.
The Constitutional Court yesterday nullified the sections in question. It said the proclamation had been signed “prematurely” because no regulations had been drafted to accompany the law.
The court found the law led to an “untenable and unintended situation” because it forced healthcare workers to obtain a ‘permission slip’, and if they did not have one they would become criminals. It further ruled Zuma was led astray by his “advisers’ mistaken counsel.”
The CEO of the SA Dental Association, Maretha Smit, meanwhile said there were better ways to ensuring equitable access to healthcare workers than moving them around “like pawns on a chessboard.”
Posted date: January 28, 2015