Eunice, You should pay me a visit, at molopo shopping complex, station road, Mafikeng. I agree with you, but the professional council of Doctors is still governed by the respective health departments of each province. To explain this further, look at how doctors are paid and enrolled. They are paid and enrolled by the Department of Health of a particular province . This means the Health Department has more authority than the Health Professional Council. Secondly, we are not underestimating the value of the council, but we are intending to try out this innovation in one particular area or two (provinces) before rolling it out to other parts of the country, by the time we roll out, we should have got enough data for all stakeholders to see the results including the Health professional council. You say xenophobia is all over the world, so should we just close our eyes and let minority groups be bullied and yet there are clear national and international laws that can protect them, why should we embrace a certain evil in society yet we cam eliminate it. If we do no act now, who will. Eunice, you seem to be informed wrongly at what is happening on the ground, i told you of refugee and asylum seekers in Limpompo, you said they do not exist with clear statistics from the last census. Now you are telling me , its cool people are being treated regardless of their Nationality, so just answer for me these questions a) How many clinics are fully operational within Ngaka modiri Molema district? And those not operating, for how long have they been closed? b)The last report on the Health of Refugees and asylum seekers in South Africa compiled by Human Rights watch, what were there recommendations. c) check this archive of this newspaper:Mail & Guardian June 23 to 29 2017, PG 26. There is an interesting article that summarizes my discussion, it was written by Bongani Mojala - Chairperson of the South African Human rights council.
At this stage, we need to have a lot of data as much as possible, because you can not present the innovation bluntly without much data to the Health Professional Council of South Africa. The innovation if granted funding, will involve Health MEC's (Members of the Executive Committee) in the provinces of Northwest and Limpopo to support the innovation. When much data and its impact has been felt, that is when we shall seek the input of the Health Professional council for roll out to the whole country. Eunice, the issue of low cost insurance or medical aid to bear fruit in the modern South Africa, we need to advocate for fair rules and regulations in other sectors of the economy which are not health related. For example the banking sector need to enable refugees and asylum seekers open up accounts with easy, understand that refugees and asylum seekers mostly work in the informal sector mostly, on a few occasions, banks which opened up accounts for asylum seekers closed their accounts without notice because the money on accounts was questioned, it was either too much, he was depositing and withdrawing cash not showing the sources of income to the Bank. When an asylum seeker looses money like that, its hard to develop trust with such banks again. Another area that the banks need to improve is, they have a wrong perception about refugees/ asylum seekers, just like other people in society they think every one in that category has to dirt, begging, and impoverished. So many asylum seekers have entrepreneurial skills that they apply within the country and make a descent life out of their misery. So if institutions like banks can improve on the issues i have explained above, the idea of devolving a low cost insurance or medical aid can start to attract investors for the innovation. Another perception that need to change is that the financial and insurance institutions look at refugees/asylum seekers as a 'risk' population, they have a high burden of disease, always on the move- moving from one area to another looking for 'greener pastures' which makes them prune to accidents. Lack of proper family structures for refugees/asylum seekers persons with proper documents also hinder investors to fund innovations addressing such populations. Its about engaging the institutions listed above, that the way to develop an application for asylum seekers/refugees can start to attract people or organisations with funds . In the event, the innovation goes through, the idea of involving local doctors presents another scenario of need for interpreters. This innovation is about how the marginalize people in community can access reproductive health services, definitions for marginalized people communities is that, '' people who suffer from discrimination and marginalization also have higher mental, emotional and health problems, as well. That also then have a particular impact on development and the costs of a lack of development''. Pat Morris, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor October 14, 2014.This innovation will give them a voice but my worry is are local doctors willing to go the extra mile to offer a service free of charge during the testing period or accept to have a translator. But after examining the available data from the testing phase, we shall see how the innovation can involve both Local and foreign doctors.
Thanks Eunice for your comment, When south Africa was welcomed back into the international community after the release of Mandela in 1994, a lot of refugees, asylum seekers and other migrant persons were allowed to work and study as by section 27(b) and section 22(6) of the refugees Act of 1998. Instead of keeping them in camps like in other countries, here you fight for your own survival. Remember the country has its own problems of unemployment staggering at 27.1% as of official statics of 2017. So when your out there as a refugee or asylum seeker looking for a job, you are competing with a good number of locals who are jobless, that is why whenever there is a service delivery protest in the country, its foreign small businesses which feel the brunt of the masses because they think foreign national are taking their jobs. Back to your question, where are the asylum seekers? You can not tell who an asylum seeker is unless your judging people by the color of their skin for example Asian asylum seekers are easily targeted because of their color, for black asylum seekers , they mingle freely with the locals, unless your keen on accents, that is when you can tell that this brother or sister is not a born of the land, so Limpopo has asylum seekers/ refugees in all spheres of society. Medical insurance is a myth for asylum seekers because the logic for insurance companies is not to offer charity but to make profit, so which insurance company will take on asylum seekers or refugees who are denied work because they do not have proper identity documents and are not allowed to open up bank accounts easily. My approach is lets try the innovation with foreign doctors who are in the country, if we have a lot of data and their is visible impact, it will be possible to advocate for other issues that affect minority groups within the country. In all Hospitals refugees or asylum seekers are allowed by to access medical services irrespective of your documents, but the issue is why are asylum seekers or refugees seeking backward means to access health services, its because the nurses in government hospitals are rude to non south Africans, these scenarios are common at all facilities: a) an asylum seeker will have his/her HIV test done without counselling because the nurse does not want to communicate to the patient in English which could be a best language for both parties to understand each other.The situation is worsened with women seeking antenatal care. b) How can a nurse tell a woman in labor pain that why do you give birth here, not in your own country, we are tired of you. C) Endless abuses faced by women from the time of conception to birth and through the whole first 24 months of the new born baby when seeking immunization. From our Northwest office, we have access of a Congolese woman whose child was immunized wrongly by a nurse deliberately and the child's arm is swelling. How do you expect such a person to go back to the same hospital to seek services. South Africa has given rise to a number of bogus doctors who paste posters in town of abortion and they have many clients because they offer a friendly service, though risky and people seek for their services than in a government facility. This is the reality we go through everyday, i have been a victim of this as well, we lost a child in a Government hospital due to negligence and lack of will to perform services to patients irrespective of color and country of origin. You may ask yourselves were these cases reported, the answer is Yes, but there more obstacles and the best option is to give up. For such cases to be followed, you need to get access to the file you were given in the Hospital, not even lawyers can get it, the option is to bribe someone to make a copy of it, then when you present your case, they will ask you, how did you get that copy, because the Hospital management knows such information will never get to the public for fear of paying out damages caused by the staff.