Pretoria – A total of 5 122 health personnel have been appointed in KwaZulu-Natal for the period 1 January to date, provincial Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo announced on Thursday.
“This figure comprises 1 566 scarce skills categories, and 3 556 other personnel which include 2 567 community care givers, 363 interns, 330 medical officers and 269 bursary holders,” Dhlomo said.
As part of the bulk recruitment strategy, 759 nursing assistants and 626 staff nurses have been appointed at all districts between January and February 2011.
Dhlomo, who was presenting a report on the department’s progress in service delivery to the provincial legislature, said 183 professional nurses were also appointed during the same period.
In acknowledging community healthcare workers’ valuable contribution to community development in improving access to and coverage of communities with basic health services, Dhlomo announced the appointment of 2 567 community care givers and community care giver supervisors by the department.
“Since April this year, the process of instituting maintenance teams at districts has commenced. Districts have advertised posts for chief work inspectors/engineers who will oversee the work of these teams.
“Hospitals have also prioritised the filling of vacant artisan posts, as well as related support personnel. This, we believe will help improve the look of hospitals and clinics so that our people can be assured that they are institutions where they can receive care,” Dhlomo said.
He pointed out that all these interventions aimed to support a paradigm shift towards integrated, preventive health care.
“We hope to equip patients with needed information, motivation, and skills in prevention and self-management. We are making prevention an element of every health care interaction.”
With regards to the Cuba-South Africa Cooperation in the training of medical students, Dhlomo said 58 students from KwaZulu-Natal have graduated from the Cuban programme, with 14 more students recently sent to study in Cuba.
“These are students from poor backgrounds [that] would have otherwise not been able to achieve their dream of being medical officers.
“In ensuring that students from poor communities and backgrounds have an opportunity to study towards a health-related qualification, we have also granted 283 nursing students with bursaries for two and four year programmes,” he said. – BuaNews