‘SA must produce 8 000 doctors a year’

September 14, 2009

‘SA must produce 8 000 doctors a year’

IOL NEWS
September 14 2009
by Gugu Mbonambi

Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo says that the country should produce about 8 000 doctors annually to meet the dire shortage at public hospitals.

Dhlomo was speaking at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital at a ceremony on Friday to welcome back 19 doctors after five years of training in Cuba and to bid farewell to 15 new recruits who would soon depart for that country.

The programme to study medicine in Cuba targets students mainly from underprivileged areas who would otherwise not have had the financial means for the studies.

Dhlomo said universities were not producing enough doctors, which was contributing to the discrepancies in the country’s health care system.
Continues Below ↓

Click here!

“Producing 200 doctors per university per year is not good enough. We will be speaking to deans and pushing universities to produce at least 2 000 doctors annually, starting in the next year or two,” he said.

Dhlomo said the country had a total of about 8 000 doctors employed by the Health Department. However, he said Limpopo would be able to meet its doctor-patient ratio if all 8 000 doctors were deployed in that province.

State doctors took to the streets in July, protesting against delays in the implementation of the occupation specific dispensation, which was geared to improve their salaries.

One of the doctors who returned from Cuba, Siyanda Nkabinde, 28, of Newcastle, said being a doctor was a challenge, especially since the country’s health care system was crumbling.

“If you work in the public sector, they bleed you dry, but we (doctors) don’t complain because we understand that state hospitals are understaffed. The fact that there are not enough doctors is unfortunate because it is the public that pays (for the shortage),” he said.

Nompumelelo Dlamini, who also returned from Cuba, said she wanted to work in the public sector, particularly in the “rural areas where more doctors are needed”.

IOL NEWS
September 14 2009
by Gugu Mbonambi
This article was originally published on page 3 of The Mercury on September 14, 2009

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.