Scapegoating immigrants will not result in significantly improved healthcare service provision, reduced crime or less unemployment.
“Medical xenophobia” is a real issue in South Africa’s public health system. There are many forms of discrimination motivated by hostility to the patient based on their national origins, which are considered a form of xenophobic violence.
Xenophobia and Afrophobia are anchored on two conditions; inferiority complex (poverty of the mind, vision and values) and a subconscious embrace of either White supremacy or tribal supremacy. For self preservation the colonial states created African societies socialised to fear, resent and distrust each other. Paradoxically, the White other is still regarded subconsciously as the better foreigner, saviour and needed ally or friend.
For the past month Operation Dudula members have been trying to prevent immigrant patients and employees entering the hospital.
“The issue of medical xenophobia: we cannot keep silent and not talk about it…Minister, it is wrong for us to discriminate against one another. We’re calling on government to speak out,” — Chair of the Treatment Action Campaign Sibongile Tshabalala.
South Africa’s healthcare services are overburdened. But this is not because of non-nationals.
It’s an unhappy journey marked by xenophobia and an uncertain future.
South Africa is on a knife edge as xenophobic violence and discrimination increases. UN experts have condemned the xenophobic violence and racial discrimination against African and South East Asian foreign nationals.
South Africa is on a knife edge. Xenophobic violence and discrimination have increased. There’s no national force with the vision and power to offer an emancipatory alternative to the poisonous politics, sometimes with fascist elements.