Updated 03 September 2014

Zuma: SA to get free, quality healthcare

The state will provide free medical care and hospitalisation for all, President Jacob Zuma says.


The state will provide free medical care and hospitalisation for all, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday.

Services to the vulnerable

"We are currently working hard to bring into operation the National Health Service, a preventive health scheme that will ensure that quality health care is available to all regardless of economic or financial means," he said in a speech prepared for delivery at the opening of the Dr Harry Surtie Hospital in Upington, Northern Cape.

"Our government is working, and will continue to deliver services to especially the vulnerable in our society."

Zuma said in the past five years 300 new health facilities had been built, including 160 new clinics.

The country's HIV/Aids turnaround strategy was a success, he said.

He said a target for his administration was to ensure that at least 4.6 million people were enrolled in the antiretroviral programme.

Zuma said the opening of the hospital was a chance to create direct and indirect jobs.

"Many people in and around the area of Upington continue to benefit and economic growth and development shows positive trends.

Opportune moment

"However, we must intensify our efforts at improving on training clinical staff."

The site had been identified for the College of Emergency Care. It was expected to be up and running later this year, he said.

There had been a transfer of hospital services from the old Gordonia Hospital, which provided an opportune moment for training through expanding nursing college facilities.

There would also be a satellite college in Upington linked to the Henrietta Stockdale Nursing College in Kimberley.

"There will be improved access to training for our nurses and ensuring that training takes place within the province," said Zuma.

"This double-edged approach will reduce the burden of costs of training, and will also help train more people locally as opposed to faraway places."

The African National Congress in the province welcomed the opening of the hospital.

"This is a major milestone in improving access to health care for both the people of ZF Mgcawu and Namakwa districts," provincial secretary Zamani Saul said in a statement.

Read more:
Zuma says fewer children born with HIV
Zuma urges elderly to live healthily
Zuma's wife shares her diabetes story

See breaking news and the hottest health tips before anybody else by joining South Africa’s biggest and best health community,
like health24 on Facebook now!


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Gut health »

Can't lose weight? Blame it on your gut

Our nutrition experts weigh in on why gut health is such an important factor in weight loss, on World Obesity Day.

Sleep better »

Yes, there is such a thing as too much sleep

A new study confirms that too little sleep can impair your brain, but interestingly, too much sleep is also a problem.