Courts’ quandary: are citizens more worthy of medical care than refugees?
A two-part application fighting for asylum seekers’ right to treatment for kidney failure has gone to the high court
The scarcity of resources in Gauteng hospitals to treat kidney failure has come to the fore at an application claiming the National Health Act (NHA) is unconstitutional and ultimately leaves asylum seekers to die.
Chronically ill asylum seeker Alem Bazabe Ereselo was forced to approach the High Court in Johannesburg earlier this year after doctors at Helen Joseph Hospital told her she was not entitled to the kidney dialysis because of her status as a refugee from Ethiopia.
A letter written by the hospital administration contained this as one of the reasons for denying her access: “You are not a South African citizen and you do not possess verified documents pertaining to refugee status or permanent citizenship awarded.”..