Durban – Limpopo MEC for Health, Dr Phophi Ramathuba, is sticking to her guns after facing backlash for comments made towards a Zimbabwean patient undergoing treatment in a local hospital.
Speaking to the SABC, Ramathuba said it was her responsibility to ensure that the people in her province lived a long and healthy life.
Limpopo Health MEC and provincial ANC official Dr Phophi Ramathuba to Zimbabwean patient admitted at a hospital in Bela-BelaP:
‘You’re supposed to be with Mnangagwa, he doesn’t give me money to operate you guys. Now I must operate you with my limited budget…’ #SadReality pic.twitter.com/rmC1iuOoR5
— Thohoyandou 🇿🇦 🇧🇼 (@AlbaMokopane) August 23, 2022
“When people of Limpopo are waiting to be operated and they are not getting joy, they come to no one other than myself. And when there are challenges that I see that are affecting initiatives as a province, I will have to address those challenges. So yes, I will have to deal with anything that has to do with health issues in my province, for the sake of these people of Limpopo,” she said.
Thank you MEC of health in limpopo @PhophiRamathuba it’s about time Zimbabweans and all foreigners pay for services we give them at our health facilities #NationalShutdown #malema #foreigners #Zimbabweans pic.twitter.com/xaWvOqm0mu
— Minister Aron Motswaledi suporter 🇿🇦🇿🇦🇿🇦🇿🇦 (@JohnWickwaMams) August 23, 2022
Ramathuba added that those who government said were beneficiaries of a rural healthcare project relied on government healthcare facilities.
She said illegal foreign nationals had the option of seeking healthcare in their home countries. She said when illegal nationals “hijack” SA healthcare services, they rob a local of an opportunity.
“Dr”. Phophi has certainly violated the Hippocratic Oath which obliges all Physicians/Doctors to “abstain from all intentional wrong-doing and harm, especially from abusing the bodies of man or woman, bond or free”. This is unfair abuse & discrimination. pic.twitter.com/EARJ6gzpbf
— Floyd Shivambu (@FloydShivambu) August 24, 2022
Ramathuba created a stir on social media after she called on a hospital to charge a foreign national for treatment.
In the clip posted on Twitter, Ramathuba said it was only in South Africa where people come into the country and expect treatment. She was reportedly addressing a Zimbabwean patient at a government hospital.
Giving Dr Phophi Ramathuba a free pass will not work. It doesn’t matter how many insults we will be subjected to by misguided people who have some A grade patriotism. What she did is wrong and she will be held accountable.
— Lukhona Mnguni (@LukhonaMnguni) August 24, 2022
While her comments have been applauded on social media, others are calling for her to step down or be fired.