Thursday 13 June

14 November 2022, Johannesburg – Today SECTION27 and partner organisations launch an online publication titled ‘Free healthcare services in South Africa: A case for all mothers and children’, at a webinar.

In recent years, SECTION27 has witnessed a rise in cases of women and children being denied access to free healthcare services, largely based on their nationality. In one unfortunate case, the refusal to provide emergency healthcare resulted in the death of a young boy.

In an environment fuelled by xenophobic rhetoric and misinformation, this publication aims to provide available facts about who has access to free healthcare in South Africa. It also differentiates between categories of migrant persons and the rights they are entitled to in accessing healthcare services in the country. SECTION27 launched a court application early this year against the Gauteng Department of Health to confirm these rights for women and children.

The publication includes the prevailing conditions of medical xenophobia in Gauteng as a case study to illustrate how new provincial laws and policies are discriminatory in practice and contradict the National Health Act (NHA). According to section 4(3) of the NHA, all pregnant and lactating women and children under six are entitled to free healthcare services – including people seeking asylum, undocumented people and those affected by statelessness. However, hospitals in Gauteng are using these new provincial laws and policies to deny pregnant women and children from accessing healthcare services based on their nationality.

Amongst others, this online resource candidly addresses whether South Africa budgets for migrant persons to access public healthcare and statistically, if they are a burden to the South African health system.

Join the webinar launch of this publication today to gain perspective on the medical consequences of denying women and children primary and emergency healthcare, and the plight of undocumented children in South Africa. The publication is a collaborative effort between SECTION27, Jesuit Refugee Service, Lawyers for Human Rights, Doctors without Borders, Treatment Action Campaign and Centre for Child Law.

Webinar Details:

Title: Free healthcare in South Africa: What the law really says

Date: 14 November 2022

Time: 10:00 – 11:30 AM

Registration Link:


Sibusisiwe Ndlela – Attorney at SECTION27 (moderator)

Liesl Muller – Senior Attorney at Centre for Child Law

Dr Tasanya Nomaliso Chinsamy – Medical Activity Manager at Doctors Without Borders Tshwane Project.

Leslie Kasumba – Media Specialist and host of The Africa Whisperer podcast

For media queries contact: Pearl Nicodemus | | 082 298 2636

View publication below: 

Categories: Uncategorized


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