Contract was offered to SA’s youngest heart specialist – health department

Viwe Mtwesi, SA’s youngest heart specialist.
Viwe Mtwesi, SA’s youngest heart specialist.

South Africa’s youngest cardiologist had received offers from at least three state hospitals, but couldn’t take them up because she wanted to pursue her studies.

This is according to the Gauteng department of health, in reaction to a City Press article on Dr Viwe Mtwesi.

READ: No work for SA’s youngest heart specialist

“We are happy about the progress made by Dr Mtwesi over the past seven years she spent with us, and we can only wish her well with her studies. Although we were not expecting her to leave us so soon we could not stand in her way to pursue her dreams abroad,” said Dr Merika Tsitsi, head of internal medicine at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital.

The Gauteng health department said that Mtwesi had received offers from Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital and Helen Joseph Hospital but could not take up the offers because she was pursuing her studies abroad.

“There is no way we would have shut our doors to Dr Mtwesi. It’s a well-known fact that the country is in need of cardiologists and in the midst of this I find these unfounded allegations to be unfortunate and just a smear campaign to try to tarnish the department’s image,” said Tsitsi.

“I even tried to persuade her to work with us in the meantime before she leaves in July but again, due to her busy schedule, this couldn’t materialise. I am happy that she has undertaken to come back and contribute to provision of quality health care service in our public sector.”

When contacted for a response to the department’s statement, Mtwesi failed to answer any correspondence from City Press.

City Press reported this week that Mtwesi was unemployed after her contract at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital ended in December and was not renewed. She was due to study at Queens University in Canada later this year.

Mtwesi told City Press that she was focusing on her private business, which deals with medical tourism.

She had asked Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital to sponsor her studies of electrophysiology but was turned down. She then managed to secure a private sponsor.

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