Talks needed on health rights – Zille

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

THE TIME is ripe for a pub­lic de­bate on the rights and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of peo­ple who turn to the state for med­i­cal care, DA leader He­len Zille said yes­ter­day.

“There is a grow­ing as­sump­tion that peo­ple have the right to be­have as they like, and the state has the re­spon­si­bil­ity to pay for the con­se­quences,” she said in her weekly news­let­ter, pub­lished on the DA’s SA To­day web­site.

About 80 per­cent of the pub­lic health bud­get was spent on the con­se­quences of per­sonal “life­style choices”, rang­ing from un­pro­tected sex, to al­co­hol and drug abuse, and the re­sult­ing trauma and vi­o­lence.

Far too lit­tle was spent on peo­ple who had no choice in their med­i­cal con­di­tions.

“When in­di­vid­u­als make per­sonal choices that have pro­found pub­lic con­se­quences, it is a le­git­i­mate sub­ject for pub­lic de­bate, es­pe­cially when oth­ers are de­prived as a re­sult,” Zille said.

The DA be­lieved in hu­man rights, but also in hu­man re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

“We be­lieve it is morally right that the state should pro­vide for those that can­not pro­vide for them­selves,” said Zille.

“We also re­alise that in a de­vel­op­ing coun­try, re­sources are lim­ited. We have very com­plex choices to make. – Sapa

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