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Patient influx from neighbouring countries raised at Sadc, says health department

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SA does have backlogs due to an unpredictably high number of undocumented migrants from neighbouring countries seeking healthcare in the country, says the health department.

“This issue is one of the subjects that are discussed during bilateral and multilateral meetings at Sadc level [Southern African Development Community] in order to find a long lasting solution,” the department said in a statement.

The department was responding to Limpopo health MEC Phophi Ramathuba’s rant at a patient from Zimbabwe admitted to a hospital in Bela Bela. She was filmed telling the patient migrants are to blame for her department’s stretched budget.

Limpopo is one of the provinces affected by patients from outside the country coming to SA for treatment, it confirmed.

“Despite these challenges, the healthcare workers must ensure that they maintain high moral obligation and standards in their work in line with the Hippocratic Oath, together with the National Health Act and the Refugee Act,” said the department.

Acting health minister Angie Motshekga has instructed the department to gather all necessary information on the incident to provide a full report to health minister Dr Joe Phaahla when he returns from a trip out of the country.

Source: TimesLIVE

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