Court Order: Right of all pregnant and lactating women and children under 6 to access free health
The Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg on Friday upheld the right of all pregnant and lactating women, and children under 6, irrespective of nationality and documentation status, to access free health services at all public health establishments, including hospitals.
The Court ordered that Gauteng regulations and a policy, introduced by the Gauteng Department of Health in 2020, that denies free health care services to pregnant and lactating women and young children who are asylum seekers, undocumented, or persons affected by statelessness are declared unlawful. The Gauteng Department of Health was ordered to amend its policy by 16 October 2023.
The Court also declared that any other similar policies or circulars that prevent pregnant and lactating women and children under 6 from accessing free health services are declared inconsistent with the National Health Act and are invalid.