Academics appeal to State; ‘help us train where the needs are’.
Over 46% of the country’s population lives in rural areas where just 2.9% of local medical graduates end up annually, the massive unmet service delivery crying out for government intervention – and the academics want to suggest pragmatic solutions. The group, consisting of top rural health training advocates at the universities of the Witwatersrand, Pretoria, Western Cape, Stellenbosch, Cape Town and Walter Sisulu University (Mthatha), held a rural clinical schools workshop at UCT’s Sports Science Academy on 23 June this year. Facilitated by Benguela Health, it followed an Atlantic Philanthropies-funded tour to South Eastern Australia (Gippsland and Victoria) by several participants to observe best practice in expanding rural health training facilities.
The timing of the workshop petition, to be presented to the South African Committee of Deans this October, after which a compelling best-evidence set of recommendations for increased rural clinical schools support will go to the Health and Higher Education ministries, could not be better. Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi is diligently setting up new district maternal and child health care teams, having publicly vowed to triple the country’s 1 200 annual MB ChB graduate output in order to make some dent in the apparently intractable human resource (HR) crisis.
Chris Bateman, HMPG
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Date published: 2011-07-25
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