As a constitutional democracy premised on the Bill of Rights, the legitimacy and credibility of SA’s democracy depends largely on the ability of its citizens to enjoy the fundamental rights promised in its Constitution. When such rights are seen to be compromised or not realised, citizens have a valid right to question whether the Constitution is living up to its promise. Perhaps no suite of fundamental rights is as contentious as the right to healthcare. In essence, the Constitution guarantees universal access to healthcare in section 27 — the caveat being that the state must seek to achieve the progressive realisation of such rights. Given that access to healthcare is intrinsically linked to the attainment and preservation of a life of dignity, it is indisputable that a well-functioning healthcare system is a key requirement for the credibility of our democracy. More importantly, given the fractured distribution of economic resources across the citizenry, the realisation of such a...

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