‘MEC Ramathuba’s statement is not necessarily wrong, the environment may have been inappropriate’

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The Deputy Health Minister Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo says Limpopo Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba’s statement is not necessarily wrong but the environment in which she made it may have been inappropriate.

Ramathuba has defended the statement she made in a recent video that Zimbabweans are placing a strain on the province’s healthcare system.

Ramathuba was filmed confronting a foreign national scheduled for surgery at a hospital in the province.

She is heard telling the patient that her country must take responsibility for her health issues, adding that Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa did not contribute to Limpopo’s health budget.

Dhlomo says the statement has stimulated public debate, they can’t immediately jump to conclusions on how the issue should be handled.

“We will be discussing with her and get a report which we will forward to the Minister who will come back to the country in two weeks’ time and then we can take it from there. Probably it was an inappropriate space with a patient. However, all what we are saying, for now, was the inappropriateness of the space in which it was made,” says the Deputy Health Minister.

Ramathuba says, “I do stand by its content because I need to share that understanding that we [are] not doing anything to our surgical backlog. People are abusing the system when they hear that the MEC is coming to this district with special care.”

“They leave their country, enter SA illegally [and] come to our hospitals. The South Africans whom we did this budget for are unable to get operated because they are still flooding even our initiatives. This is an initiative outside our daily work,” explains MEC Ramathuba.

Zanu-PF reacts to a recent video on Limpopo MEC of Health: Kennedy Mandaza