Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba expressed confidence that the appointment of 28 medical specialists whom she welcomed during a breakfast session at Fusion Boutique Hotel last Thursday would help reduce surgical backlogs currently experienced in public health facilities across the province.
Shocking statistics revealed pertaining to the backlog included 20 000 eye operations and 2 500 surgical procedures.
Ramathuba added that the newly appointed medical experts would also help the department to treat its patients in the province rather than referring them to hospitals in other provinces.
She indicated that some members of the group had already commenced their duties in November and December while 11 were expected to start this month. Their fields include neurology, orthopaedics and ophthalmology.
The appointees will be distributed to regional hospitals in order to reduce the load of referrals to tertiary hospitals, the MEC explained.
“The specialists will mostly be based in Letaba and Mankweng Hospitals and I am confident that they will help us fight the backlogs. We are working together with the University of Limpopo’s (UL) medical school and my plea to these specialists is that they should share their knowledge and skills with young professionals and medical students at UL,” Ramathuba stressed, adding that the department’s relationship with UL’s medical school was solid and reiterated that the more the department hires medical specialists the university would grow.
UL Vice-Chancellor and Principal Mahlo Mokgalong said they were proud to have a medical training facility that produces medical experts. He reminded that the specialists appointed by the department were not the first products of the university’s medical school as many had been produced before them.
Story: ENDY SENYATSI