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HEALTH PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
9 November 1999
PHARMACY AMENDMENT BILL [B51-99]: DISCUSSION & VOTING
The Chairperson of the Committee Dr S Nkomo opened the meeting and asked Dr Zokufa from the Department to introduce the Bill. Dr Zokufa read the title of the Bill together with its contents and the Chairperson asked for comments.
Dr S Gous (NNP) proposed that the word "before" should be inserted so that the Long Title can read as follows: To amend the Pharmacy Act, 1974, so as to provide for the performance of community service by persons before registering for the first time as pharmacists; and to provide for matters connected therewith.
The State Law Adviser objected to such an amendment being made. He said the Long Title reflects clearly the intention of the legislature the way it is phrased. Both Dr S Cwele and Dr B Mbulawa concurred.
Clause 14A (2)
Ms J Semple (DP) proposed that this section should read "The Minister in consultation with the councilâ€¦" and not "The Minister may, after consultation with the councilâ€¦" as it is presently phrased. Dr Zokufa disagreed with the proposal stating that the "â€¦may, after consultationâ€¦" is more user friendly as regards process.
Ms C Dudley (ACDP) and Dr R Rabinowitz (IFP) argued that the amendment be made. Dr S Cwele said the section as it presently reads should not be amended because it requires the Minister to consult with the council. Dr B Mbulawa concurred and said people who need to be serviced by community service will not be serviced whilst the council is locked up in discussions with the Minister. Professor P Eagles of the Pharmacy Council advised against the use of "â€¦in consultation withâ€¦" as it will make the consultation compulsory, which they would not like to happen.
Dr R Rabinowitz (IFP) expressed concern for the safety of the students should anything bad happen to them or a disaster occur. She asked what remedy would the students use to enforce their rights. Dr S Cwele reminded her that there are many avenues available to the students including approaching the Committee or using the Constitution. Dr B Mbulawa condemned the suggestion that any disaster would befall the students. She reminded the Committee that medical students have done community service and "they did not have the sky fall on them."
Dr S Gous (NNP) reminded the Committee that allegations of insufficient consultations with the pharmacy students had been made. He said in future there should be consultation.
Professor P Eagles disagreed stating that all stakeholders had been consulted throughout the process. In addition, Dr Zokufa said a meeting is planned for 6 December 1999. He promised that students and all stakeholders would be represented and all issues arising in the meeting will be carried to subsequent meetings.
The Motion of Desirability - The motion was unopposed.
Long Title - The Long Title was unanimously agreed upon.
Clause 14A(1) - All the members agreed to the wording of the clause.
Clause 14A 1(a) - Dr S Gous (NNP) proposed that the words "â€¦in South Africaâ€¦" should be inserted in the Section to make sure that the students will not be sent to other countries. Ms P Lesese of the State Law Advisor's office pointed out that laws made in South Africa are for South Africa and not for any other country. Dr M Mpehle (ANC) commented that community service is done within the country and not elsewhere otherwise it would not be community service. The chairperson echoed the same sentiments and said it will be tautologous to insert the words "â€¦in South Africa..."
The amendment fell away by 4 votes to 9.
On the same clause Dr S Gous proposed that the word "â€¦maximumâ€¦" be inserted thereby making the clause read "perform remunerated pharmaceutical community service for a maximum period of one yearâ€¦" Dr S Cwele (ANC) said if "â€¦maximumâ€¦" is put it leaves uncertainty that some students can do community service for 2 months, others for 6 months etc.
The amendment fell away by 4 votes to 9.
Clause 14A(2) - The amendment as previously proposed by Ms J Semple fell away by 10 votes to 3.
Clause 1 as a whole - Clause carried by 13 votes against 2.
Short Title - The title was unanimously carried.
Bill as a whole - The Bill was approved with 1 vote against.
The Chairperson announced that the Bill has been accepted without amendments and that it will now proceed to the NCOP.