Thursday 25 August 2022


The National Department of Health has responded to the viral video of Limpopo Health MEC, Dr Phophi Ramathuba and a patient from Zimbabwe at Bela Bela Hospital.

There have been mixed reactions to the video which has been widely circulated, with some commending Ramathuba and some condemning her

In a statement, the department said it doesn’t have full context of the video conversation between Ramathuba and the patient, which makes it difficult to make a conclusion.

Furthermore the department said it acknowledges that the public healthcare system is struggling in some areas to meet the healthcare needs of the citizens and reduce the backlogs due to unpredictably high number of undocumented migrants from neighbouring countries seeking healthcare service in the country, other than the asylum-seekers and refugees.

Spokesperson Foster Mohale said this issue is one of the subjects that are discussed during bilateral and multilateral meetings at SADC level in order to find a long lasting solution.

“Limpopo Province is one of the affected provinces, and 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 of South Africa.

“This does not mean that all services are free, because only primary healthcare services are provided free of charge, but higher levels of care are subject to a fee.”

Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla is reportedly out of the country, and the acting Minister Angie Motshekga has instructed the department to gather all necessary information which will enable her to provide a full report upon Phaahla’s return.


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