A new central hospital that will boast ‘super’ medical specialists and a medical school at the University of Limpopo are set to be built in Limpopo, announced Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba during her 2017 budget speech.
In preparation for the new facilities, the MEC said the department has already started recruiting ‘super’ specialist doctors to start once the hospital opens.
Ramathuba said the ‘super specialists’ include the first Neurologist in Limpopo, Dr Mangena; Limpopo’s youngest Nuclear Medical Specialist, Dr Muambadzi; and the first black Paediatric Oncologist in South Africa, Dr Netshituni.
The department says it’s certain that the specialists will make sure that the tertiary services are of high standard and will reduce the trips that the patients have to undertake outside the province.
“Our people need not to go to Dr George Mukhari and Steve Biko Academy Hospitals (in Ga Rankuwa and Pretoria respectively) in pursuit of sub-speciality care. We will continue to recruit more specialists,” said Ramathuba.
In addition to the medical ‘super specialists’, the department has appointed 13 medical specialists, 269 medical doctors and 639 professional nurses.
“In this financial year, we will reinforce our professional health workforce by recruiting an additional 10 medical specialists, 200 medical doctors and 250 professional nurses,” said Ramathuba.
Furthermore, 137 medical students who have graduated from the Cuba Programme – a joint training programme for medical students between South Africa and Cuba, will be placed in Limpopo’s district hospitals.
“A total of 376 medical students are currently studying in Cuba. They will also be part of the Limpopo central hospital. In the 2017/18 financial year, we expect 40 to be returning for the completion of their degrees in our medical universities,” concluded Ramathuba.
It’s reported that South Africa has one of the lowest doctor to patient ratios in the world, and the country’s medical schools are producing just more than 1,000 doctors a year, which is not enough. The establishment of the new medical school could go a long way to helping South Africa meet its high demand for healthcare professionals in the public sector.