"Refugees and asylum seekers may not be refused emergency medical treatment"

Lawyers for Human rights says it is outraged that a woman who ended up having to give birth in a Gautrain carriage was first turned away from three government hospitals.

The hospitals allegedly refused to assist her because she was an asylum seeker and not South African.

DRC immigrant Francine Kalala gave birth to baby girl Emmanuela at the Park Station platform last week with the help of Gautrain staff.

She was rushing to get help at the Edenvale hospital in Johannesburg, after government hospitals in Pretoria, among them Tshwane Hospital and Steve Biko Academic Hospital, refused to assist her.

The Midday Report host Stephen Grootes spoke to Refugee and Migrant Rights Attorney Kayan Leung, saying they are outraged as Lawyers for Human Rights.

Leung says it’s unfortunate that refusing to assist asylum seekers and refugees in the country is a common practice to many government hospitals.

Asylum seekers and refugees as with anyone in the Constitution, in terms of section 27 (1) A, states anyone has a right to health care services.

Kayan Leung : Refuge and Migrant Rights Attorney

She says the Constitution states clearly that no one may be refused emergency medical treatment, taking into consideration that maternity and pregnancy, often rises with complications and can be considered as an emergency medical treatment.

The right to life is a fundamental right afforded to all human beings regardless of their immigration statuses or nationality.

Kayan Leung : Refuge and Migrant Rights Attorney

Take a listen to the interview below:


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