Refugees, migrants and health care in South Africa, explained
Keep up to date with our Teach-Yourself Series – condensed articles on migration issues in South Africa. Our articles and infographics aim to spread awareness on South Africa’s migration landscape, and our standpoints on the issue. This is a joint init …
- How is the South African healthcare system structured?
- What does the law say about migrants and refugees accessing healthcare in South Africa?
- Who pays what at clinics and hospitals?
- What about accessing specialist treatment, such as kidney dialysis?
- What about organ transplants?
- What about accessing treatment for HIV or TB?
- What about accessing private hospitals?
- The reality of accessing healthcare in South Africa
- How do we respond to inflammatory comments about ‘foreigners draining the healthcare system’?
- What is needed to improve the situation?
- I have more questions. Who can I ask?
What about organ transplants?
As we have seen, specialist treatment must be provided according to the resources of the hospital. Refugees and asylum-seekers will be assessed in the same way as South African citizens – depending on their medical need and the resources available. However, for organ transplants, the National Health Act states that ‘an organ may not be transplanted into a person who is not a South African citizen or a permanent resident of the Republic without the Minister’s authorisation in writing’.9 Those who are not South Africans or permanent residents who are denied organ transplants would have to challenge this in court, or access the transplant at a private hospital.