The journey of a Bill

At the August 5 Portfolio Committee of Health meeting the Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill was considered and adopted.

A five-page document setting out the amendments that the Committee had earlier proposed and agreed to was tabled and the Committee approved all the amendments, and voted to accept the Bill as well.It is quite interesting to track the process followed so far to reach the stage we are in now. I don’t think everyone realises how long a road has to be travelled before something becomes law! These are just the events at the Portfolio meetings on this piece of Law.

  • 26 February 2014 Bill introduced in National Assembly by Minister of Health
  • 03 September 2014 -Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill NDOH Departmental briefing
  • 29 October 2014 public hearings day 1 public participation
  • 31 October 2014 public hearings day 2 public participation
  • 05 November 2014 Public hearings public participation
  • 19 November 2014 Response by National Department of Health to submissions made during public hearings
  • 26 November 2014 Further responses by Department of Health
  • 18 February 2015 deliberations Portfolio of Health and NDoH
  • 25 February 2015 Traditional and Natural Health Alliance submission
  • 04 March 2015 Traditional and Natural Health Alliance submission on Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill – Department & legal advisors response
  • 11 March 2015 : deliberations
  • 05 August 2015 Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill adoption

Steps still to take place are:

  • Acceptance from Portfolio of Health in the National Assembly
  • National Council of Provinces acceptance
  • Lastly Presidential signature

The committee also spent some time discussing the TB conference in Barcelona and the Declaration that resulted from the meeting. Or to be more accurate, discussing the fact that it was not on the agenda, in spite of the correct procedure having been followed.

The Chairperson apologised for the error and other Members suggested that, because a full background and detail would be needed, it would make sense to defer this to the next meeting, and it was agreed that this would be done.

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