Healthcare in Crisis: A Shameful Disrespect of our Constitution

Ames Dhai, Safia Mahomed


Healthcare in South Africa (SA) is in crisis. Of the complaints received by the health ombud, 40% are from Gauteng Province. Despite the dire shortage of human resources, the Gauteng Department of Health has decided not to fill vacated posts. As a result, the training of registrars and medical students suffers. Legal constraints have also created an impasse between tiers of government, allowing for near self-governance with impunity at the provincial offices. The public sector provides healthcare access to 84% of patients in SA, and this group is being denied access to healthcare in the country. The fundamental right to healthcare is affirmed in the Constitution; however, its implementation is riddled with impediments. Urgent intervention is necessary to address the crisis.

Authors' affiliations

Ames Dhai, Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Safia Mahomed, School of Law, College of Law, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

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South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 2018;11(1):8-10. DOI:10.7196/SAJBL.2018.v11i1.00649

Article History

Date submitted: 2018-07-12
Date published: 2018-07-12

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