Immigrants allegedly denied prenatal care at Joburg clinics. Many pregnant immigrant women in South Africa reportedly struggle to register for prenatal care in government-run clinics. Some have been turned away because they have no valid documents, while others have been asked to pay bribes or buy fake asylum permits and residency documents as reported by GroundUp.
Many immigrant women from countries like Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho, Malawi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo are affected by the issue. Some end up giving birth at home, putting both mother and baby’s lives at risk.
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A Gauteng High Court ruling from April ordered that pregnant women and children under six years of age should have access to free public health services regardless of their nationality and documentation status. However, many women have still been turned away from government clinics even after the ruling.
A National Department of Health spokesperson said the department had not received any formal complaints from women who were denied treatment but added that health workers who violated patient rights would be “dealt with”.
Photo by Martinus