AG’s Office scrutinises health reforms
THE Ministry of Health and Child Care has submitted the draft Public Health Bill (PHB) to the Attorney General’s Office to align legislation on health services with the Bill of Rights.
The Bill as well as the Medical Services Bill deals with all constitutional provisions relating to preventative aspects of health in line with the Constitution.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dr Gerald Gwiji, said the State was mandated to take reasonable legislative and other measures within the limits of available resources to achieve certain rights.
The new legislation will incorporate all constitutional provisions relating to preventive aspects of health such as environmental rights, the right to food and water as well as sanitation.
“As the Ministry of Health and Child Care we have a large share of the task since the new constitution has 12 clauses in the declaration of rights that address health related issues and demand to be aligned with the existing legislation,” said Dr Gwinji.
In a speech read on his behalf by the Principal Director Prevention Services in the Ministry of Health, Mr Sydney Makarawo at a workshop to review health laws in Bulawayo, Dr Gwinji said some of the rights outlined by the new constitution would be incorporated into the Public Health Act.
“The Public Health Draft Bill is now with the office of the Attorney General for finalisation as consultations started well before this current exercise and it will be tabled before Parliament soon.
Further consultations will be conducted again as part of the Parliamentary stage of the legislative process,” said Dr Gwinji.
“The Public Health Bill will incorporate all constitutional provisions relating to preventative aspects of health such as environmental rights, right to food, water and sanitation.”
Dr Gwinji said the Medical Services Amendment Bill will incorporate all provisions with health aspects relating to medical treatment.
He said consultations were open to everyone and including special groups such as children, women, people living with disabilities, war veterans and the elderly.
Principal Director of Pathology in the Ministry of Health Dr Maxwell Hove said the consultations would be held countrywide.
“From the northern region, we found that most people are concerned about access. Access has several dimensions, it’s about physical access and also economic access. And the economic access then comes with affordability, so most people find themselves having access to institutions without the necessary provisions,” said Dr Hove. @AuxiliaK.
Doctors perform free eye cataract operation on patients at Richard Morris Hospital in Bulawayo on Wednesday. (Picture by Eliah Saushoma)