By Staff Reporter
HEALTH and Child Care Permanent Secretary Dr. Gerald Gwinji has told Parliament that the much awaited Public Health Bill is set to be submitted to Cabinet this Thursday (22 June 2017).
The Bill which is seeking to replace the current 1978 Public Health Act suffered many delays along the way from both the short-staffed Attorney General’s office and the Ministry of Health itself.
Appearing before a Parliamentary Committee of Health and Child Care, Dr. Gwinji said the Bill has now been completed and is just waiting to be printed for submission to the executive for approval.
“The issue is that after the Bill we then produce a memorandum to Cabinet of the principles of the Bill itself, initially it was the principles to make it and now it’s just summarizing what clause this and that deals with and so forth for the executive to say yes you have addressed things within the context of the principles that we approved so it can now be passed to law.
“The memorandum has been prepared and it is the minister only who signs that, he signed it and we now have to produce 200 something copies of an 89 paged document to make sure the process goes through.
“The Bill is still within the ministry, when we called them (Cabinet) in terms wanting this done urgently, they said as long as we put in all the copies before Thursday then it goes into the process the next day. We are printing them but we don’t have adequate equipment to use, we have small printers that photocopy and stop,” he said.
The Perm Sec added that they are also relying on going to other departments for printing of the documents and that they have made progress to meet the Thursday submission deadline.
“What I can say is the Minister signed the memorandum yesterday but in the interim we were in the process of printing the actual Bill itself for distribution together with the memorandum, the copies are still at the premises of Ministry.
“And as I said to Dr. Ruth Labode end of day tomorrow because were were promised that if we put it before end of day Thursday it goes into the process for next week, so our target is end of day tomorrow all the document have gone, its only an issue of producing the copies,” he said.