LEPHALALE — During his State of the Province Address (SOPA), Limpopo Premier, Stanley Mathabatha mentioned that the health department is currently on track.
“Our public health system has experienced significant improvement over the last two years. It is making a remarkable recovery from the widely-reported challenges of shortage of emergency vehicles, shortage of healthcare professionals, dilapidating infrastructure and general shortage of critical equipment” said Mathabatha.
The Premier delivered his SOPA on Friday 26 February 2016 at the Jack Botes hall in Polokwane.
“Our health turnaround strategy has indeed begun to take shape.” Mathabatha also said that the province have bought no less than 150 state-of-the-art ambulances during this financial year, adding that in the next financial year they will be purchasing more ambulances, which will include Planned Patient Transport and mobile clinics to assist in areas where there are still shortages.
“These ambulances will bring much relief to Emergency Medical Services in the province and save more lives”.
He added that by December 2015 over 38 healthcare facilities had undergone major refurbishments and that they will continue with infrastructure development work across hospitals, clinics and health centres.
Mathabatha said that in 2014, President Jacob Zuma announced that Limpopo is going to have its own medical school and he is now proud to say to the people of Limpopo that a medical school in the province is no longer just a pipe-dream, it is a reality.
This medical school which is at the University of Limpopo admitted its first group of 60 students last month. He added that the province will have its own academic hospital and the process of appointing a developer is underway and the construction should commence by November this year.
“These major developments will obviously go a long way towards improving access to primary healthcare in the province, and more importantly, the training of medical professionals.
These also complement the successful programme of sending young people to Cuba to study medicine. In September last year we sent another group of 110 students to Cuba. To date we have 394 students who are at various levels of study in Cuba. We expect 19 of these students to return to the province next year for their final clinical training” Mathabatha said.