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Civil society calls on government to review the healthcare systems policies & medical xenophobia

Umamah Bakharia

2 min read
16 November 2022 | 10:30 CAT

Civil society groups have published a booklet on the plight of the country’s healthcare system titled ‘Free healthcare services in South Africa: A case for all mothers and children’.


Photo credit: Jeema In Online


The booklet was launched by Section27 and partner organisations Jesuit Refugee Service, Lawyers for Human Rights, Doctors without Borders, Treatment Action Campaign and Centre for Child Law.

Speaking to Radio Islam International, Doctors Without Borders’ Dr Tasanya Chinsamy, Medical Activity Manager for MSF Tshwane, says this project was established after the organisation found a lack of service delivery towards expecting mothers at healthcare facilities.

“We’ve seen that it becomes more and more of a trend of people finding it difficult to access care because of some of the policies, and this booklet is to see if we can raise some awareness that will make it easier for people to access healthcare,” says Dr Chinsamy.

The booklet contextualises migration, health and access to care and the growing issue of xenophobia towards health care.

“Particularly in a country like ours where we have such a volatile [attitude] when it comes to xenophobia and anti-migrant sentiments in our country,” she says.

Dr Chinsamy adds that even though people might have medical xenophobia- the usual definition that people use is negative treatment by healthcare providers, some policies question these sentiments.

“It may not be xenophobic policies, but they can contribute to this poor treatment towards migrants,” she says.

Civil society calls on the government to review policy changes in the healthcare system.


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