Judge orders medical treatment for asylum seeker
Asylum seeker Alem Bazabe Ereselo – who was refused treatment at Helen Joseph Hospital – has managed to secure a draft order that will allow her to continue to receive the tri-weekly dialysis she requires to stay alive.
Ereselo was forced to approach the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) for help after doctors at Helen Joseph told her she was not entitled to the chronic treatment because of her status as a refugee from Ethiopia.
Times Select reports she approached Lawyers for Human Rights, who assisted her in launching an urgent application against the hospital, the MEC for Gauteng Health and the Minister of Health.
Representing Gauteng Health, Advocate Nokulunga Makopo told Acting Judge Marcus Senyatsi it was not merely Ereselo’s status as an asylum seeker that was the reason for refusing her treatment. She said the hospital had a ‘scarcity of resources’ and she was wary that a ruling in Ereselo’s favour could set a precedent.
However, the judge repeatedly told Makopo that Ereselo’s life was at stake and that if he agreed with the respondents he ‘will walk away from here and never be able to forget this as long as I live’.
The judge made a draft order that Ereselo receive treatment while the litigation continued, and reserved the issue of costs until the application was finalised.
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