The South African government on Tuesday condemned the actions of a vigilante group (Operation Dudula) barring foreigners from accessing medical treatment at healthcare centers.
“Preventing access to healthcare can have dire consequences to patients and have a negative impact on the public health system and on 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.
Operation Dudula has been stopping people from entering Kalafong Hospital in Atteridgeville in Tshwane for the past three weeks. They have been targeting those with dark skins and those whose language they deem foreign. On Tuesday they also barred foreigners from seeking treatment at Hillbrow healthcare center in Johannesburg.
Gungubele said the South African Constitution declares that access to basic health services is a human right, and explained that every person in the country, regardless of their nationality or documentation status, should be allowed to have access to healthcare.
Gungubele said that the Southern African Development Community agreements allow foreign nationals from member states to receive the same care as all South Africans. He noted that South Africa would like to live in harmony with fellow Africans to build a better Africa. Enditem