Too long in the rain … rural doctors get some relief

Chris Bateman


A long-awaited support programme for isolated, under-resourced rural doctors will start in the Eastern Cape this year once a 3-year, R19 million donation from the Clinton Foundation is finalised. The initiative has the full backing of the national and Eastern Cape provincial departments of health, and of the Rural Doctors Association of South Africa (RuDASA).

The main target group is private doctors doing sessions in small rural hospitals and clinics, but doctors and pharmacists working full time in these facilities will also benefit. The money will fund ‘practice managers’ or ‘facilitators’, initially in the much neglected Ukhahlamba and Chris Hani districts. If the programme works well it will be extended in 2011 and 2012 to all the rural areas of the Eastern Cape, and the provincial government will start to pick up a portion of the costs.

The practice managers will organise much-needed Continuing Professional Development (CPD) sessions within the district at times that private GPs can attend and that are relevant to practice in remote and under-resourced areas. The practice managers will also trouble-shoot (e.g. help to resolve maddening issues such as non-payment of claims/allowances and repair of minor equipment), arrange locums and, if possible, facilitate on-site mentoring by (mostly) retired senior doctors.

Author's affiliations

Chris Bateman, HMPG

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under resourced rural doctors

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2010;100(4):204-206.

Article History

Date submitted: 2010-03-01
Date published: 2010-03-30

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