The most accurate spear at Hlabisa – a Goko doctor.

Chris Bateman


Every public hospital, especially a rural one, needs a skonkwane or anchor person who shoulders responsibility, leads by example, initiates or maintains efficient systems and motivates staff. Yet few have one, let alone one who is black, female and a role model.

So when Dr Mmabatho Kekana, 52 years old, the medical manager at Hlabisa Hospital in the remote Umkhanyakude District in the far northern KwaZulu-Natal coastal region, was nominated by her peers for Rural Doctor of the Year, she was the sure-fire favourite. Confirming her victory, the Rural Doctors Association of Southern Africa (RuDASA) selection committee member, Dr Alma de Vries, said, ‘she showed us what can be done to turn a hospital around. She’s an example of what our health minister, Dr Aaron Motsaoledi, so often speaks of -- good hospital management. Doctors get disgruntled very quickly when management is poor,’ she added.

Author's affiliations

Chris Bateman, HMPG

Full Text

PDF (398KB)


rural doctor award

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2010;100(11):702,704.

Article History

Date submitted: 2010-10-04
Date published: 2010-11-09

Article Views

Abstract views: 1945
Full text views: 906

Comments on this article

*Read our policy for posting comments here