MEC Ramathuba blames migrants for backlog of surgeries in Limpopo hospitals

A video that has gone viral shows Ramatuba addressing an admitted foreign national at a hospital in Bela-Bela, Limpopo.

Limpopo Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba addresses pupils at Gwenane Secondary School in Sekgaggapeng on 13 January 2022. Image: Limpopo Department of Health (Bophelong)/Facebook

JOHANNESBURG – Limpopo Health MEC Fofi Ramatuba on Wednesday said her province is struggling to clear a surgical backlog due to an influx of foreign nationals straining the health system.

A video that has gone viral shows Ramatuba addressing an admitted foreign national at a hospital in Bela-Bela, Limpopo.

Despite the criticism, Ramatuba defended her views.

She spoke about a provincial rural health project that sought specialists from across the country to address the province’s surgical backlog.

Speaking on Radio702 on Wednesday morning, the MEC accused people from South Africa’s neighboring countries of abusing the system.

“We have already been operated on [on] more than 4700 patients. But, on the other hand, Limpopo is not a large province; we do not gain in terms of surgical backlog. So we started wanting to understand why we weren’t winning.”

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