by SETUMO STONE
HEALTH Minister Aaron Motsoaledi yesterday announced plans to build six new academic hospitals and medical schools in the next decade, in a bid to address SA’s pressing shortage of well-trained healthcare professionals.
Dr Motsoaledi made the announcement in Johannesburg when he introduced the department’s Human Resources for Health Strategy, a key building block in the implementation of National Health Insurance.
“We know that to train more people you need superior infrastructure. We are not only producing a human resources plan but equally producing a plan on infrastructure,” Dr Motsoaledi said. He said SA was producing 1200 medical doctors a year but the number needed to be tripled at the least .
The Democratic Alliance (DA) last year estimated that the public sector was short of at least 12000 doctors and 46000 nurses.
The plan includes establishing a new medical school in Limpopo and refurbishing the Nelson Mandela Academic hospital in Mthatha. “That is why we are demerging the University of Limpopo Medunsa campus and the Turfloop campus. We need to rebuild Medunsa to what it used to be in the past before we wrongly thought we could change it,” Dr Motsoaledi said.
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