The Pietermaritzburg Fertility Clinic and three of its doctors have tried to stop specific definitions in a draft regulation by Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize relating to reproductive medicine. According to a report in The Mercury, they said they feared he would enact legislation which would make it difficult for these clinics to operate.
The clinic turned to the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) regarding the definition of “competent person”, to which it objected. They say the new regulation, if enacted, will cause many doctors not to meet the requirements. The 2012 regulations, which are still in force, say no person other than a “competent person” may perform certain procedures essential to the process of artificial fertilisation. Thus, if the draft regulation went ahead, it would set the bar much higher and the medical practitioners who already work in this field, would have to undergo additional training.
Counsel for the Minister argued that this legal challenge was premature as government was still waiting for input on the subject. Judge Raylene Keightley agreed. “This is the type of case that must await the finalisation of that process before it would be competent for a court to intervene,” she said.The Mercury report (subscription needed)