Editorial

Understanding healthcare and population mobility in southern Africa: The case of South Africa

Helen L Walls, Jo Vearey, Moeketsi Modisenyane, Candice M Chetty-Makkan, Salome Charalambous, Richard D Smith, Johanna Hanefeld

Abstract


The impact of global increases in human mobility on health systems is a little understood but highly political issue in recipient countries. South Africa (SA) is the greatest recipient of migrants from the Southern African Development Community. There is a policy of free primary health care for all in SA – as outlined in the Constitution and the National Health Act – but its interpretation is less inclusive within implementation guidelines and practice.  As a result, non-nationals face access challenges, and public health responses have engaged with migration to a limited extent. Migration provides opportunities for health and economic benefits, and has the potential to positively and negatively affect health systems. To maximise positive impact and mitigate against potential negative consequences requires attention and engagement of policy-makers from health and other sectors, including public health researchers and health workers. We outline our current research and existing responses to migration and health in southern Africa.


Authors' affiliations

Helen L Walls, Anthropology, Politics and Policy Group, Department of Global Health and Development, Faculty of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK; Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health, London, UK; African Centre for Migration and Society, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Jo Vearey, African Centre for Migration and Society, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Moeketsi Modisenyane, School of Health Systems and Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Candice M Chetty-Makkan, Research Department, The Aurum Institute, Johannesburg, South Africa

Salome Charalambous, Research Department, The Aurum Institute, Johannesburg, South Africa

Richard D Smith, Department of Global Health and Development, Faculty of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK; Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health, UK

Johanna Hanefeld, Anthropology, Politics and Policy Group, Department of Global Health and Development, Faculty of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK; African Centre for Migration and Society, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Full Text

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Keywords

Migration; Human mobility; Health systems

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2016;106(1):14-15. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2016.v106i1.10210

Article History

Date submitted: 2015-10-15
Date published: 2015-11-24

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