SA to get health specialists boost

2012-09-07 15:26

Cape Town - About 36 sub-specialists will be trained in a R78m bursary programme to address a public health skills shortage, the Colleges of Medicine SA (CMSA) said on Friday.

The CMSA said the doctors would be put through an intensive two-year training programme, funded for the next six years by hospital chain Life Healthcare.

"An important criterion for the scholarships is that the qualifying doctors must commit to remain in the country after their training, and to work in public hospitals where vacancies exist."

Where a suitable post was not available at a state facility, the hospital chain would have first right of refusal.

CMSA research in 2010 showed that 500 specialists qualified each year, many of whom migrated to the private sector or to foreign institutions.

There was a shortage of 4 500 specialists.

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-09-07 15:54

    Well done Life Healthcare. Kathy

      clifford.sithole.5 - 2012-09-07 16:36

      About 36 "Black" sub-specialists will be trained!!!

      fussed.anderson - 2012-09-07 16:59

      What ever happened to all those Cuban doctors that were brought to sa on behalf of this anc thing

      hermann.hanekom - 2012-09-07 17:23

      @fussed - they all deserted to the US of A. Don't worry with this new scheme more will come.

      claudia.meads - 2012-09-07 19:23

      South Africa has a shortage of 4 500 medical specialists - while the best candidates for the medical faculties are being turned away, because thay are too white. Read the article below to the sentence that verifies this verity

      jerry.medina.756 - 2012-09-08 01:33

      Professionals go overseas because of better renumeration Claudia, not because of any other reasons. it has nothing to do with black or white. Must you South Africans put everything in a racial perspective. You people need to get a life. sies man

      gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-09-08 10:57

      Slave labour makes me puke.

      Rob.Gill.03 - 2012-09-08 19:58

      @ Jerry : are you in the state service in the medical field in South Africa?

  • sean.redmond3 - 2012-09-07 16:01

    Let's hope it works.

  • chris.fuffie - 2012-09-07 16:14


  • paulo.teixeira.39948 - 2012-09-07 16:27

    I remember not so long ago there being a race row at UCT about reserving a portion of medical placements only for people's of previously disadvantaged backgrounds (whatever that means). As result of this policy a large portion of qualifed students are declined a space to study medecine. Do you think the above is a symtom of these backward policies?

      gail.hayesbean - 2012-09-08 10:52

      @paulo. I believe that the admission criteria is that aspirant doctor applicants of darker hue have to have a 70% pass while paler hued people have to have a 90% average. I'm sure that our current shortage of specialists is because of State interference in the medical field and the seeming inability to maintain what were previously fine learning hospitals in larger centres in terms of infrastructure. It is also important to remember that AIDS and XDRTB patients have placed an enormous burden on Govt hospitals from a cost point of view and that it is the right of every skilled doctor to pracice where he or she chooses unless their studies have been funded through State bursaries or private stakeholders such as mentioned in the above article. Sadly many doctors do not wish to serve in the rural areas in hospitals which are miles from the bright lights and social life that their more fortunate peers have at their disposal. It is these newly qualified doctors who have studied on bursaries and State loans who leave SA for greener pastures many in order to repay their loans or not and support their families back home. There was an article about this not so long ago. It will be interesting to see how Life Healthcare manages this disregard by those trained at great expense to give back to the South African community which they originate from. The doctors of today are only interested in financial enrichment and why is that so different from the ruling party? At least they're educated.

  • silas.mapuroma - 2012-09-07 16:37

    WE got researchers in Laboratories, some stuck there underminded by the superior, why not been encouraged to take further rsponsibility in Public health.

      Rob.Gill.03 - 2012-09-07 20:59

      Your comment makes no sense. Please try to get your point across in language that is understandable.

      gail.hayesbean - 2012-09-08 10:55

      @Rob: Do not criticise Silas for his inability to make himself understood in English when I'm sure you'd be just as quick to criticise him if he said what he wanted to say in a language you wouldn't be able to understand. Practice makes perfect and in your case patience would be a virtue.

      Rob.Gill.03 - 2012-09-08 20:02

      @ Gail : Seriously? All I'm saying is that the original comment was not understandable. If you cannot get you point across on a public forum, what is the point of contributing? We are here to stimulate debate, not try to decode that others are writing. Can you tell me exactly what point Silas was making?

  • irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-09-07 16:46

    My medical aid only covers me for hospital treatment if I go to a Life Hospital. Having read this article, I now see the urgency of changing medical aids.

  • johan.vanheerden.737 - 2012-09-07 16:48

    sub -specialist= sub standard specialist?

  • odofad - 2012-09-07 17:05

    R2.16M per sub-specialists? isn't that a bit steep?

      irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-09-07 17:14

      Not really because the gravy train has to be filled first and only after that does anything go for the purpose it was originally intended.

      abram.spamers - 2012-09-07 21:28

      Its not that much for a medical postgrad... especially if its done abroad.

      gail.hayesbean - 2012-09-08 11:03

      No, R2,16 is not that steep given the true worth of the Rand. Specialising in a particular area of medicine can take three years of study during which the student who is by this stage at least 30 years of age has to live and eat and feed a family just like the rest of us. This is why specialists earn so much more than your local GP. Their working life is essentially much shorter than the average joe and they have to repay loans while supporting elderly parents and a young family of their own very often. This because their parents have made huge financial commitments to enable them to receive the first 7 years often remortgaging their homes to enable their children to achieve their dreams.

  • arthur.salvado - 2012-09-07 17:14

    Don't worry and don't bother guessing what's going to happen and who will benefit and at what cost stc. The grant/bursary monies will never get to the doctors/students. Someone will pocket the money before it gets to its intended destination . No change there then.

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