Western Cape gets hundreds of extra medics thanks to Cyril's cash injection

Western Cape health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo with new medical interns at the New Somerset Hospital on Friday January 11 2019.
Western Cape health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo with new medical interns at the New Somerset Hospital on Friday January 11 2019.
Image: Supplied

The Western Cape public health system will have more than double the number of medical interns this year, as well as more doctors and specialists.

Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said on Friday that the extra numbers would drastically improve health services.

She said that 333 interns had been placed across the province – an increase of 204 compared with just over 120 the province has had over the past few years.

"The interns are from across the country and have been placed in our system to help them gain the necessary experience to be able to add value to the public health system," Mbombo said.

"This increase will obviously go a long way in improving service delivery in our province."

The boost is thanks to the presidential stimulus package, which will see more than 5,300 posts for health workers created countrywide.

The package, which was announced by President Cyril Ramphosa in September, is part of economic reforms and spending plans designed to kick-start the sluggish economy.

Ramaphosa said the package would focus on human resources, hospital beds and linen, all of which have been in short supply over the past few years as a result of dwindling budgets.

New posts in the Western Cape from this month include three medical specialists, eight registrars, nine community service doctors, 42 professional nurses and six forensic pathologists.

Gauteng is getting 15 medical specialists, 10 registrars, 20 community service doctors, 40 specialist nurses, 10 social workers and 100 porters.

KwaZulu-Natal is getting 97 registrars, 150 enrolled nurses, 50 pharmacy assistants and 160 porters, while the North West is getting  20 medical specialists, 28 registrars, 28 medical officers, 42 pharmacy assistants, 145 emergency medical services staff and 285 medical staff.

Mbombo, who on Friday welcomed 25 new medical interns at the New Somerset Hospital in Cape Town, urged them to make use of every teachable moment. She called on patients not to abuse the young doctors when they are frustrated with the public health system, but to treat them with respect.

"These doctors are young and they are assets to this hospital, but they are also humans … not angels from heaven. We need to take care of our staff so that they can take care of patients," she said.

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