According to the South African Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, foreign nationals are burdening the South African health system.
South Africa’s health-care system has continued to face huge challenges over the years with government proposing a total overhaul with the plans to implement a mandatory national insurance and reduce the cost of private healthcare.
It appears the Minister of Health in South Africa has solved the puzzle and discovered the true reason behind the poor state of health care in the country, or hasn't he?
Speaking on the second day of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union's Nurses' Summit in Johannesburg on Wednesday, this week, the SABC quoted South Africa's Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi as saying more hospitals and clinics are needed in South Africa to accommodate all the local and foreign patients.
According to him, the problem of the dwindling health care system in the country is as a result of the huge influx of foreign patients, which when coupled with the local demands, create a burden for the sector.
He said South Africa needed to re-look at its immigration policies to control the number of undocumented and illegal immigrants in the country.
He further went on to say this was the major reason behind his proposal for a national insurance scheme.
Below are excerpts from his speech:
"The weight that foreign nationals are bringing to the country has got nothing to do with xenophobia… it's a reality. Our hospitals are full, we can't control them.
"When a woman is pregnant and about to deliver a baby you can't turn her away from the hospital and say you are a foreign national… you can't. And when they deliver a premature baby, you have got to keep them in hospital.
"When more and more come, you can't say the hospital is full now go away… they have to be admitted, we have got no option – and when they get admitted in large numbers, they cause overcrowding, infection control starts failing.
"...We know that some of these services are there in the private hospitals but they are there for a select few. When you have got overcrowding like this, you must use all the facilities in the country – whether they are public or private.
"I can't say this baby is about to die, he needs an ICU, there is no ICU in a public hospital but the private hospital next door has got an ICU and this baby cannot go there because she belongs to a lower socio-economic class… that's wrong – and that's what we want to change on NHI which people are trying to run away from."
Do you agree that this should be considered as a problem, considering the fact that Medical tourism is a huge source of income to many countries around the world?
Header Image Credit: Times Live