Foreign doctors deployed to SAs rural areas

February 29, 2008

Foreign doctors deployed to SAs rural areas

Tuesday, 05 February 2008

The Department of Health has welcomed a group of 20 Tunisian doctors who will be deployed in rural areas of South Africa.

Driven by the health departments Foreign Management Workforce Programme and the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), the initiative aims to alleviate shortages in rural areas due to skills shortages in the health sector.

HPCSA has registered 100 practitioners from Tunisia who will arrive in the country over the course of the year to ply their trade in some of the countrys most underserviced areas. "Not only is the initiative aimed at alleviating shortages in the rural areas, but also to share expertise with their local counterparts, said HPCSAs Tendai Dhliwayo.

Similar initiatives have also been undertaken with doctors from Cuba and Iran.

Speaking to the SABC, the Democratic Alliance (DA) health spokesperson Mike Waters said the arrival of the 20 Tunisian doctors was insufficient in addressing the scale of the problem.

In addition to such initiatives the DA has called upon government to form partnerships with the private sector that will see the country’s universities training more doctors.

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