Dr Phophi Ramathuba’s remarks about a Zimbabwean hospital patient sparked disapproval from trade unions. Image: @Ori_RSA / Twitter

Dr Phophi Ramathuba’s remarks about a Zimbabwean hospital patient sparked disapproval from trade unions. Image: @Ori_RSA / Twitter

Dr Phophi Ramathuba’s xenophobic comments slammed by unions

Dr Phophi Ramathuba’s xenophobic comments towards a Zimbabwean hospital patient have sparked disapproval from trade unions.

Dr Phophi Ramathuba’s remarks about a Zimbabwean hospital patient sparked disapproval from trade unions. Image: @Ori_RSA / Twitter

Dr Phophi Ramathuba’s remarks about a Zimbabwean hospital patient sparked disapproval from trade unions. Image: @Ori_RSA / Twitter

Dr Phophi Ramathuba’s remarks about a Zimbabwean hospital patient in Limpopo continue to cause controversy. 

According to News24, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) disapproved of Ramathuba’s messaging. 

Further, the Health and Other Service Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa) asked the Limpopo health MEC to apologise for her comments. 

Dr Phophi Ramathuba blames Zimbabweans for draining SA’s healthcare resources

On Tuesday, a video of Ramathuba sitting beside a Zimbabwean woman in Bela Bela hospital went viral. 

This is because the MEC ranted about Zimbabwean patients like her are putting strain on South Africa’s healthcare system. Notedly, the Minister assumed this woman was Zimbabwean because she spoke Shona.

In the video, Ramathuba said the following:

“You are supposed to be with Mnangagwa; you know he doesn’t give me money to operate. And I’m operating with my limited budget. When you guys are sick, I’m hearing that you just say, let’s cross the Limpopo River, there’s an MEC there who’s running a charity department.”

Many critiqued the MEC’s statements due to their inherent xenophobia, reports The Daily Maverick. Additionally, some believe she has broken her Hippocratic Oath as a health worker to bring no harm to patients.

Trade Unions disapprove with MEC’s messaging

Nehawu believes the issues within Limpopo’s healthcare system cannot be attributed to foreign nationals. Instead, the union thinks broader systemic issues must be addressed to salvage the province’s public healthcare. 

 Dr Phophi Ramathuba’s remarks about a Zimbabwean hospital patient sparked disapproval from trade unions. Image: @daddyhope / Twitter
Dr Phophi Ramathuba’s remarks about a Zimbabwean hospital patient sparked disapproval from trade unions. Image: @daddyhope / Twitter

Another trade union, Hospersa called for Ramathuba to apologise for her xenophobic comments. Interestingly, the ANC doubled-down on the MEC’s sentiments. Jimmy Machaka – Limpopo’s executive committee spokesperson – said the following:

“The ANC in Limpopo align themselves fully with the sentiments and comments made by Phophi Ramathuba. We have appreciated the burden that has been encroached by illegal foreigners on the health systems in Limpopo.”

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