Free State appoints 61 doctors to stabilise its health system

SABC News reports that the alarming number of unemployed doctors has thrust the health system into the spotlight. As part of its intervention the Free State province has appointed 61 doctors in an effort to stabilise the overburdened system. In his State of the Province Address, Premier Mxolisi Dukwana announced that in January a total of 217 medical interns and community service professionals that include dieticians, radiographers, audiologists and physiotherapists were employed. The Free State says the latest appointment of doctors will ease the burden on the system. 61 doctors started working in various hospitals across the province from the beginning of this month.

“The Free State MEC of health, Mme Mathabo Leeto, is buoyant, very happy about the progress we are making in employing doctors in the province and when this number of 61 doctors was mentioned in the State Of the Province Address it encourages us.  And and he tells the country that we are doing our best within the available resources to make sure that there’s no doctor lingering in the street when the people in the healthcare system are in need of doctors,” says Provincial Health spokesperson, Mondli Mvambi.

Many graduates have to wait long periods before they get their board exams. Some of them have been back in the country from universities overseas since 2022. Graduates, who studied abroad, are also expected to do integration programme and community service. They will write their board exam with the Health Professional Council of South Africa on the 20th of March.

“We make sure that we we keep an eye on our investment of the doctors that we have sent for training in different parts of the world to make sure that when they come into the system into the Free State we take them to the HPCSA approved processes where they write Board Examinations, where there’s  follow up through the objective structural examination boards and they get into you know community service.  They service interns and then then they eventually get absorbed into the system,” Mvambi explains.

Positive impact
One of the doctors who forms part of the latest cohort employed by the provincial department says they hope to have a positive impact on the system. Dr Mxolisi Ntantiso, studied medicine in Cuba, for six years. He completed an integration programme, internship and worked in various institutions. Dr Ntantiso works in Lejweleputswa.

“I can say immediately when we came back from Cuba, we were integrated smoothly without any glitches. So we got into South African Universities, and we studied. There was no issues that could delay us and the only time we stood and waited was only now after we have completed the community service. But for me as I said I completed my service December 2023. I waited from that time until the 29th of February.”

by Makgala Masiteng

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