BY PHYLLIS MBANJE
PREGNANT Zimbabwean women, who had resorted to using South African health facilities to get cheaper services, may need to find other alternatives as hospitals in the neighbouring country are allegedly hiking fees for foreigners.
South Africa’s health institutions feel that foreigners are taking up too much space at their institutions.
The Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria, which has been one of the favourites for Zimbabwean women, has reportedly significantly hiked its fees.
For a bed only, one now has to fork out over R2 300 a day and R8 542 for a normal delivery. If it is a Caesarean delivery, the fee is now a whooping R11 603.
Last month, South African Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi expressed concern over an influx of illegal migrants at the country’s maternity hospitals.
Motsoaledi sensationally claimed that at Musina Hospital in Limpopo province, 70% of women giving birth there were Zimbabwean nationals.
“If you go to Musina Hospital now, and to the labour ward, and I challenge you to do so, you will find that 70% of the women who are delivering there are from Zimbabwe — nobody stops them. And, when we arrest people, we are not arresting them for coming to South Africa. We are saying they must come officially and I want to emphasise that,” he said while addressing the media recently.
Desperate Zimbabwean women cross into to the neighbouring country as local health facilities have fallen apart and have inadequate equipment and drugs.
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