Madame Speaker, the Inkatha Freedom Party welcomes the amendments that are being reposed in this Bill as it seeks to amend the Medicines & Related Substances Act 0f 1965 with a view to updating certain definitions, functions and clarifying appointments and functions of structures associated with health matters.

Having said that, Madame Speaker, the Inkatha Freedom Party expresses its extreme concern for the well-being of the citizens of our province when one considers the severe shortage of medicines at many of our health care facilities.

We are aware that there are institutions where there is a short supply of basic pain killers on the one hand and essential drugs such as ARVs. If vital, life-saving drugs are in short supply and patients are given limited dosages, it compromises the treatment regime, thereby placing the patient at risk of relapse or even death.

We can pass into law the best legislation, but if we fail to effectively implement and enact legislation, it will not serve any purpose.

The Department of Health must ensure that orders for appropriate medication must be placed on time, that delivery takes place on time and that the health care needs of our people are not compromised.

The IFP supports the Bill

I thank you.