August 25, 2022

S.A Provincial Health Minister Criticised For Comment To Zimbabwean Patient

South Africa’s health department has launched an investigation into comments made by a provincial health minister to a Zimbabwean patient undergoing treatment.

In a widely circulated video clip, Dr Phophi Ramathuba is seen chastising a reportedly undocumented Zimbabwean patient scheduled for surgery at a hospital in South Africa’s Limpopo province.

Her comments have been viewed as blaming foreign nationals for the country’s ailing healthcare system.

Dr Ramathuba told the patient that Zimbabwe should take responsibility for her health issues and not South Africa.

She added that Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa did not contribute to South Africa’s health budget.

Opposition political parties are demanding the official’s resignation and said she should be reprimanded for humiliating the patient.

However, Dr Ramathuba has said she stands by her comments, adding that the Limpopo province, which is on the border with Zimbabwe, has an “influx of foreign nationals who are choking the province’s health system resulting in doctors often working under pressure”.

She also said her comments should not be misconstrued as xenophobic.

The patient, she said, had told her that she had been in a car crash in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, and was advised to cross the border to seek medical attention.

Source: BBC

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