Gauteng to help alleviate healthcare problem

A SHORTAGE of doctors in Mpumalanga has led to the signing of an agreement with Gauteng, which will allow the province to transfer patients to hospitals in Gauteng.

This announcement was made by health MEC Dikeledi Mahlangu during an imbizo in Balfour at the weekend.

Mpumalanga needs an additional 9000 doctors to beef up its current number of 700.

Since last year these exhausted doctors were only willing to work from 8am to 5pm, and not on weekends, leaving thousands of patients stranded.

Mpumalanga health spokesperson Dumisani Mlangeni told Sowetan yesterday: "The agreement means patients from the Balfour Community Health Centre can be referred to the Heidelberg Hospital and those from the Delmas Hospital to the East Rand Hospital.

"Patients from KwaMhlanga and Mmametlhake hospitals can be referred to the Kalafong Hospital," he said.

"Furthermore, Mpumalanga can refer patients to the Chris Hani Baragwanath, Charlotte Maxeke, Dr George Mukhari and Steve Biko hospitals in Gauteng," he said.

Mlangeni said the department had inherited a fragmented healthcare system.

"The system was based on tribal, racial and class divisions, and was biased towards privileged groups and communities," he said.