The Gauteng Department of Health has dismissed reports about the alleged refusal by the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital to offer employment to cardiologist, Dr Viwe Mtwesi.
“These allegations are far from the truth and the department wishes to put it on record that Dr Mtwesi received employment offers from Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital and Helen Joseph Hospital. However, she could not take up these offers as she is pursuing her studies on the electrophysiology abroad,” said Dr Merika Tsitsi, head of Internal Medicine Department at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital.
Tsitsi said that there was no way that the hospital could have shut down its doors to Mtwesi, as it is a well-known fact that the country is in need of cardiologists.
“In the midst of this, I find this unfounded allegations to be unfortunate, and just a smear campaign to try to tarnish the department’s image. As the institution, we are happy about the progress made by Dr Mtwesi over the last seven years she spent with us, and we can only wish her well with her studies,” Tsitsi said.
Tsitsi added that although they were not expecting Mtwesi to leave the hospital so soon, “we could not stand in her way to pursue her dreams abroad”.
“I even tried to persuade her to work with us in the meantime whilst she is still in the country before she leaves in July 2018 but again, due to her busy schedule this couldn’t materialise. I am happy though that she has undertaken to come back and contribute to provision of quality healthcare service in our public sector,” Tsitsi said.
High calibre of cardiologists
Tsitsi highlighted that in the past financial year, the department has produced a high calibre of cardiologists – this includes the Steve Biko Academic Hospital, which has produced one cardiologist and three, which are set to qualify in March 2018.
The Chris Hani Baragwanath has produced four cardiologists, and currently has six cardiology fellows in training, whereas Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic had three fellows graduating as cardiologists, and is currently having seven cardiology fellows in training.
“The department is acutely aware of the important role played by cardiologists in our health system and will continue to offer training and expand the number, as well as the skill sets offered by these professionals,” said Dr Tsitsi.