Cordial relations between the provincial health department and University of the Witwatersrand's Centre for Rural Health are beginning to bear fruit.
The university recently approved 11 clinical associates who graduated with bachelor of clinical medical practice degrees to work at district hospitals across the province.
Provincial health spokesperson Tebogo Lekgethwane said the new graduates had been specifically trained to become mid-level health workers to address the country's shortage of skilled healthcare professionals.
"The clinical associates are trained with doctors in a medical school to work with, assist and support doctors in their duties," Lekgethwane said.
"They are being specifically trained to work in district hospitals, especially in rural district hospitals where there are not enough doctors."
The Lehurutshe Hospital Complex is proud to have two of these graduates, Tshegofatso Mpolokeng and Tshegofatso Senwelo, based at the facility.
Senwelo, 21, originally from Ntsweletsoku in Zeerust and one of the top students of the class, said: "I feel proud and enthusiastic about the programme and honoured that I am one of the pioneers.
"I've always wanted to do something for my community. So, here I am. I have finished the programme and I'm going into the field, to serve my own," she said.
Abiggail Dreyer, project manager for the District Educational Campus at the hospital, said: "The clinical associates will work under the supervision of a qualified medical practitioner."
Statistics show that 65.1% of the North West population live in rural areas with access to about 11 public sector doctors per 100000 people, compared to 30 in an average urban province.