The EFF has tabled a private member’s bill in parliament, aiming to make it mandatory for public sector clinics to remain open 24 hours a day.
An attached explanatory memorandum highlighted that health service challenges are not limited to specific time periods and can afflict a person at any time of day or night.
“Millions of South Africans are denied their right to have access to health services as enshrined in the Bill of Rights because an insufficient number of health facilities are open after hours, thus denying these South Africans access to health facilities should they fall sick or become injured after hours,” it said.
“People do not only get sick or suffer injury during the day when healthcare facilities, especially clinics, are open. Many South Africans live too far from hospitals and are therefore unable to access healthcare establishments all the time. Clinics are in most instances the most effective health establishment to access.”
It added that these mandatory changes should be implemented at any clinic funded by the state.
The proposed legislation follows a recent push by the ANC-led government to make healthcare more affordable in South Africa.
Notably, this will include the introduction of a National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme, which will effectively subsidise a large part of healthcare in the country in an efforrt to make it more accessible.
You can find the proposed bill detailed below.