As South Africa celebrates 27 years since our nation’s first election in 1994, it is important that we reflect on how far we have come as a nation in improving access to healthcare. The entrance of a new democratic era brought with it hopes of a future whereby South African citizens can live freely, without the oppressive laws that denied them access to basic education, housing, and healthcare.
However, more than two decades after this hard-won democracy, the divide between rich and poor has continued to widen meaning that a large proportion of our people get inferior healthcare.
The socio-economic limitations faced by many communities in rural areas and townships means that their freedom to choose where and how they should receive medical care is significantly crippled. The average South African who has no access to medical aid, is then forced to rely on an under-resourced healthcare system as they have no other choice.
As YNITU we have made it our mission to continue using our freedoms of association and expression to demand good conditions for workers which then translates into better healthcare standards for our people. We believe that the implementation of Universal Healthcare through the National Insurance (NHI) in South Africa is long overdue.
Through NHI citizens would be afforded the freedom to choose to good quality healthcare that is affordable. NHI also upholds the principles of human dignity and equality that underpins our constitution. While communities suffer due to poorly resourced clinics and hospitals, nurses and other medical staff are also forced to work under difficult conditions.
To read more on the article titled “The Young Nurses Indaba Trade Union calls upon South Africans to reflect on what freedom means” click here