Stellenbosch and Mediclinic join forces to train doctors

Private hospital group Mediclinic Southern Africa and Stellenbosch University’s medical school on Monday announced a partnership for training undergraduate doctors, a development they say will help increase the number of doctors who can be produced in SA.
Demand for the limited places at SA’s medical school far exceeds supply, and the schools turn out far fewer doctors than SA needs.
About 1,200 doctors graduate from SA’s medical schools each year, and the government has since 1995 turned to Cuba to help boost these numbers.
The partnership with MediClinic was in line with the objectives of the National Development Plan, which includes the private sector

Medunsa to be split from University of Limpopo

The Medical University of South Africa (Medunsa) is being separated from the University of Limpopo (UL) and will in January next year become a part of the new Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU).
Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said on Monday the transition process required co-operation between the UL and SMU, the details of which were contained in a “protocol of engagement” signed in June this year.
The establishment of the SMU as a legal entity in May this year underscored the government’s plans to expand its capacity to train enough doctors.

Limpopo medical students leave for Cuba

At least 100 Limpopo students will on Monday leave for Cuba to study medicine. Premier Stanley Mathabatha has already bid farewell to the students.

Train SA doctors at home - MEC

Sending students to Cuba to train as doctors was an expensive exercise for KwaZulu-Natal, and the province was now considering opening more medical schools and importing Cuban lecturers.

Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo told the health portfolio committee at the provincial legislature in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday that next week he would lead a team to Angola on a mission to establish how the country managed to open medical schools with lecturers from Cuba.

“It is more convenient if students are trained at home,” he said.

South Africa first sent students to Cuba in 1995 to address the shortage of doctors.

SA-Cuba deal ‘on track’

Despite the heavy criticism it has attracted from some quarters, the South African and Cuban medical training programme is here to stay.

That’s the word from the health department on the programme aimed at tackling the doctor shortage and assisting in the overhauling of the healthcare system.

“South Africa has a critical shortage of doctors and as part of government’s aim of increasing the number of doctors, the South African and Cuban health ministries signed a collaborative SA-Cuba Agreement.

“The agreement is assisting South Africa to use the capacity that Cuba has in the training of medical doctors.

Minister mulls Russia training for SA doctors

INTENT on finding a way to dramatically increase the number of South African doctors, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi is investigating the scope for training the next generation of medics in Russia, he said on Wednesday.

Dr Motsoaledi has already persuaded South Africa’s eight medical schools to increase their student numbers, but they have limited scope to do so because they are constrained by funding and by the number of staff available to supervise students in hospitals and clinics.

‘Students will help NHI rollout after Cuba training’

Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize says a group of medical students who left the province for medical training in Cuba will come back and assist with the rollout of the National Health Insurance (NHI).

Mkhize was speaking at King Shaka International Airport at a farewell function for 115 students who were selected to study medicine in Cuba as part of the South Africa/Cuba Medical Training Programme started 16 years ago.

“Many of our people received military training in Cuba as we fought against the apartheid government. Now that we have defeated apartheid, our main focus is the fight against the burden of diseases. These students have been selected from all districts in the province with the assistance of mayors and District Aids Councils.

Motsoaledi shares his plans

Dr Aaron Motsoaledi rubs his forehead and repositions himself in his chair, leaning forward as if to make sure the point come across clearly: “I will say it upfront. There is no way National Health Insurance (NHI) will function anywhere if the public health system is not functioning well.”

The health minister has been on a long overdue mission to transform South Africa’s health system since he took office more than three years ago.

Doctors will get NHI pay — minister

Department of Health would guarantee the payment of private general practitioners (GPs) who worked in public clinics in the National Health Insurance (NHI) pilot districts, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said yesterday.

The NHI envisions private practitioners being involved in public health institutions, and this is the first time that Dr Motsoaledi has fleshed out the proposal and guaranteed the payment of such medical officers.

The thinking is that private sector health resources will improve referral systems, as well as increase patients’ confidence in primary healthcare facilities.

Dr Motsoaledi was addressing journalists on the sidelines of the South African Medical Association’s (Sama ’s) conference.

Academic hospitals under central control: ANC

Academic hospitals should be centrally controlled, and 1000 doctors will start training in Cuba later this year, the ANC commission on health policy resolved in Midrand on Friday.

"These are central assets which [offer a] service across provinces... these are hospitals attached to universities," said Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, who is a member of the health and education commission.

He said it made sense to move control of these hospitals from the provinces to the national health department, as university training was a national competency.

This would also resolve the problem of referring patients across provincial borders.