Izindaba

Caring for doctors is caring for the community – RuDASA

Chris Bateman

Abstract


Take two dedicated, efficient doctor/managers out of the mix at a deep rural district hospital and the local healthcare system begins to implode, leaving a nursing manager scrambling to re-assign remaining staff while the local population is left with the prospect of little more than a mediocre day hospital.
The story of the 180-bed Madwaleni Hospital in the Mbashe sub-district (with a population of 262 000, and rated the eighth most deprived sub-district in the country) of Amathole on the north Eastern Cape coast, with its 33 attendant clinics, is a cautionary tale which sadly epitomizes so much of South Africa’s human resources for health crisis.
That an entire community’s health needs can turn on the personal life of a single clinical manager (who left in February last year to marry a woman in Johannesburg where he was promptly offered a top multi-facetted academic post), portrays the historical neglect of the country’s health care staffing.

Author's affiliations

Chris Bateman, HMPG

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Keywords

human resources for public health, shortages, rural health

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2011;101(11):794,796.

Article History

Date submitted: 2011-10-04
Date published: 2011-11-01

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