Dr Essop returns to SA to serve the city

2017-07-26 13:48
Pietermaritzburg born-and-bred Dr Essop Solomon has returned after 12 years in Saudi Arabia.

Pietermaritzburg born-and-bred Dr Essop Solomon has returned after 12 years in Saudi Arabia. (Ian Carbutt)

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Pietermaritzburg born-and-bred doctor Essop Solomon has returned to his beloved hometown from Saudi Arabia to once again serve the community.

Solomon (66), who left the city in 2005 after practising medicine here for 21 years, returned last week.

He worked for 12 years at the Saad Specialist Hospital in Al Khobar.

Now armed with advanced insight into diabetes, he plans to once again serve as a doctor in a private practice.

“I was lucky to get a chance to work as a diabetologist in Saudi Arabia,” he told The Witness. “Saudi Arabia has one of the highest incidences of diabetes in the world, so I was able to work using the latest medicine and become familiar with technology.

“In developing countries like South Africa, it [diabetes] is set to explode in the next 10 to 20 years, so hopefully my expertise and experience can make a positive impact.”

Solomon, who grew up on West Street in the CBD and now resides in Montrose, began practising medicine in 1984. He worked in a private practice, but also worked part time at Grey’s and Edendale hospitals.

“At the time there were very few physicians. We didn’t have sub-specialists, like cardiologists, like we have now so we had to do it ourselves. I worked part time in the public sector and in 2005 I felt burnt out. I was working myself to death and I needed a break. South Africa is my home; I didn’t leave for any other reason.”

Solomon had at his practice in Pietermaritzburg built a reputation for being lenient when it came to payment from patients. “My approach to healthcare was not monetary-based. To me it’s a service. When people couldn’t pay I didn’t make it a big issue. I just enjoyed doing medicine.”

He added: “If you can help, that’s the top priority. If you can help others you should. I’ve still got enough health to continue, and I’m very happy to be back.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  doctors

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