The DA in Limpopo welcomes reports of Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba’s failure in the Pretoria High Court to stop a Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) inquiry into her conduct towards a Zimbabwean patient in a video last year.
The widely circulated video showed Ramathuba berating and humiliating a patient in a room full of onlookers. Ramathuba asks the patient how a Shona speaker finds themselves in Bela-Bela when “you are supposed to be with Mnangagwa” and berates the patient for being an illegal immigrant and then proceeds to blame foreign nationals for “killing my health system.”
The DA laid complaints with the HPCSA, South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the ethics committee in the Limpopo Legislature in August last year, and considered Ramathuba’s comments as inconsistent with the standard of treatment that should be afforded to any patient using public health facilities.
The province’s health department has had historical challenges of poor management, financial mismanagement, crippling staff and medicine shortages, billions in medical negligence claims, poor infrastructure as well as insufficient equipment and resources. It was disingenuous of Ramathuba to use foreign nationals as a scapegoat and blame them for the province’s poor health system.
Ramathuba is an underachiever in her role as MEC and has overseen the poor performance of the province's health department. She cannot place the struggles of the province’s health department on foreign nationals alone and skirt responsibility for her department's failures.
As a health professional, Ramathuba must subject herself to the disciplinary processes of the HPCSA over her unacceptable and embarrassing conduct.
Issued by Risham Maharaj MPL - DA Limpopo Spokesperson for Health