The recognition of access to health care as a human right in South Africa: is it enough?

Health Hum Rights. 2000;5(1):26-44.


A right of access to health care services is among the economic and social rights guaranteed by the Constitution of South Africa. Given the jurisprudential novelty of such a right and its dependence on economic resources, however, its realization is likely to be difficult to secure. The article discusses the scope and limitations of the right of access to health care in South Africa. Though the country's courts have yet to develop clear principles for interpreting a right of access to health care services, the more significant obstacles to the full enjoyment of this right are the country's pervasive poverty, gross income disparities, and extremely high burden of disease.

Publication types

  • Legal Case

MeSH terms

  • Anti-HIV Agents / supply & distribution
  • Constitution and Bylaws
  • Health Services Accessibility / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Housing
  • Human Rights / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Humans
  • Political Systems
  • Public Health / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • South Africa


  • Anti-HIV Agents