Algeria, October 9, 2018

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South Africa: Don't Exclude Foreign Nationals - Universal Health Coverage in South Africa

Our healthcare system should know no boundaries. Our Constitution makes no distinction in the Bill of Rights between South African citizens and foreign nationals who live within the boundaries of the Republic of South Africa. Yet the NHI has the potential not only to be hijacked by commercial interest groups, but is tumbling down the slippery slope of xenophobia.

South Africa's two-tiered health system based on wealth inequities must end. The concepts of the rich subsidising the poor, the young the old, and the healthy, the infirm or ill are lauded as sound principles on which to deliver health to our people. Let us not perpetuate a two-tiered health system by gating foreign nationals from the right to health and universal health coverage in its totality in South Africa. We support universal health coverage and a financing mechanism that eradicates the way we deliver health in South Africa.

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