Lebowakgomo – The Limpopo province will soon have its own Limpopo Central Hospital and Medical School at the University of Limpopo.
This was announced by Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba during her budget speech in the provincial Legislature on Thursday.
She said that the people of Limpopo could no longer wait for the two important facilities to be built in the province.
“The Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan said that over the next few months, we will be working with the Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi and the Minister [of Higher Education and Training] Blade Nzimande on planning the construction of the facilities,” she said.
She further said the medical school will be the first one to be built since the advent of democracy.
The MEC added that in preparation for the medical school, the department has already started recruiting specialist doctors to start once the hospital opens.
She said these doctors include “our super specialists, Dr Mangena, the first Neurologist in the province, Dr Muambadzi, our youngest nuclear medical specialist and Dr Netshituni, the first black paediatric oncologist in the republic of South Africa”.
The department is certain that the “super specialists” will make sure that the tertiary services are of high standard and will reduce the trips that the patients have to undertake outside the province.
In addition, the MEC said: “Our people need not to go to Dr George Mukhari and Steve Biko Academy Hospitals (in Ga Rankuwa and Pretoria respectively) in pursuit of sub-speciality care. We will continue to recruit more specialists”.
Furthermore, she said that to date, 137 medical students have graduated from the Cuba programme and they are placed in Limpopo’s district hospitals.
“A total of 376 medical students are currently studying in Cuba. They will also be part of the Limpopo central hospital. In the 2017/18 financial year, we expect 40 to be returning for the completion of their degrees in our medical universities,” she said.
The MEC stressed that in addition to the medical super specialist, the department has appointed 13 medical specialists, 269 medical doctors and 639 professional nurses.
“In this financial year, we will reinforce our professional health workforce by recruiting an additional 10 medical specialists, 200 medical doctors and 250 professional nurses,” she said.