Talks needed on health rights – Zille
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