The Gauteng Department of Health (DOH) has been urged to open criminal cases against Operation Dudula for disrupting health services.
The Collective Voices against Health Xenophobia, an organisation which represents around 30 civil society organisations, criticised Operation Dudula for “attacking” patients at Johannesburg’s Jeppe Clinic.
This was in response to claims from earlier this week that Operation Dudula protestors had blocked immigrants from entering the clinic by staging a demonstration there.
According to the Collective Voices against Health Xenophobia, immigrants were singled out as “scapegoats” for a public health crisis and targeted in an effort “to distract attention.”
Isaiah Mombilo, the chair of the Congolese Civil Society of South Africa, one of the organisations represented by the Collective Voices against Health Xenophobia, said:
The number of foreigners going to hospital are insignificant. There’re no big numbers, it’s not visible…When people are saying these kinds of statements, they aren’t aware of what’s going on, they aren’t dealing with accurate information, they are not dealing with true information, they are not dealing with true statistics.
According to Mombilo, individuals who restrict foreigners’ access to medical treatment are hurting the next generation of Africans, and this will have an impact on the entire continent.
Last year, Limpopo Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba confronted a Zimbabwean patient at a Bela-Bela hospital telling her that South Africa does not have the budget to accommodate foreign nationals.
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