Government has condemned the actions of citizens who have been preventing people from other countries accessing healthcare services at Kalafong Hospital in Atteridgeville, Pretoria.
“These actions by a few are infringing on basic human rights. They go against the tenets of hard fought democracy,” government said in a statement.
In South Africa, the right to access basic health services is a basic human right that is guaranteed by the Constitution.
“South Africa is governed by the rule of law, which makes provision for every person in the country, regardless of their nationality or documentation status to access healthcare.
“The victimization of patients and hospital employees, who are suspected of being foreign nationals should be condemned by all.
“The Southern African Development Community Agreements, to which South Africa is a party, allows foreign nationals from member states to receive the same care as all South Africans.
“Preventing access to healthcare can have dire consequences to patients and have a negative impact on the public health system and to citizens at large.
“We understand that the public health system is overburdened because of a myriad of challenges, however, doctors and healthcare workers have an obligation to provide healthcare to those in need,” said Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele.
Gungubele said the Hippocratic Oath guides the actions of doctors, which includes them not withholding services because of religion, nationality, race, politics or social standing.
“Government is hard at work to improve our healthcare system and deal with challenges. South Africa subscribes to its constitutional principles which protect the human rights of all people leaving in the country.
“South Africans should strive to live in harmony with fellow Africans and be part of building a better South Africa and a better Africa,” Gungubele said.