We can train them, but how can we retain them?
Despite the quality and success of the trainees, only 3 of the 15 have been appointed as consultants in KwaZulu-Natal province, one has left for Witbank, and one is about to leave to take up an appointment in Johannesburg--this despite the fact that the departments of surgery in the province have the posts to employ the majority of them. Unfortunately, although a total of 9 posts are available and have been motivated to be financially unfrozen, no interviews have taken place. This inertia at the provincial administrative level to finance and advertise these posts exists despite a public statement to the contrary. The Medical School has also been ineffectual in influencing the provincial health authorities to fund over one-third of these posts which are on the 'joint medical establishment', i.e. joint university and provincial posts.
This impasse surely needs to be addressed so that interventions to institute meaningful dialogues between the province and the Medical School can occur.
If no urgent solution to this problem is found these individuals will leave, and at least 3 are actively pursuing an overseas option. Others will head for the already over-manned private sector or to other provinces. Once they leave they are unlikely to return.
Department of Surgery
Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine
School of Health Sciences
University of KwaZulu-Natal
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|Publication:||South African Medical Journal|
|Article Type:||Letter to the editor|
|Date:||May 1, 2009|
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