Johannesburg struggles under burden of undocumented patients — Mashaba

Organisation: Position: Deadline Date: Location:

The Johannesburg Health is struggling to cope with the number of undocumented patients, who have tripled in number since 2016, attending its 81 clinics, says Mayor Herman Mashaba in The Citizen. He said secondary data analysis extracted from the electronic health records system on 66 of the city’s 81 clinics found that 15%to 39% of patients accessing services had no identification, including both South Africans and foreign nationals.

The number of undocumented patients has increased from 32,092 to 82,923 between 2016 and 2018.

“The Constitution guarantees healthcare to all, however, we have limited resources and our systems are under severe strain,” Mashaba said. “We need the national government and (the department of) home affairs to assist so as to properly budget for services which need to be provided arising from this Constitutional responsibility.”

According to the report, he said while South African patients might not disclose their identity to avoid the social stigma associated with some diseases, illegal immigrants opted to conceal it to avoid potential deportation.

Mashaba said he was also troubled by the number of pregnant undocumented persons who reportedly presented themselves at the city’s clinics “at the eleventh hour”, saying the facilities were not meant to deal with emergency deliveries.

The Citizen report

Receive Medical Brief's free weekly e-newsletter



Related Posts

Thank you for subscribing to MedicalBrief


MedicalBrief is Africa’s premier medical news and research weekly newsletter. MedicalBrief is published every Thursday and delivered free of charge by email to over 33 000 health professionals.

Please consider completing the form below. The information you supply is optional and will only be used to compile a demographic profile of our subscribers. Your personal details will never be shared with a third party.


Thank you for taking the time to complete the form.