Caring for doctors is caring for the community – RuDASA

Chris Bateman


Take two dedicated, efficient doctor/managers out of the mix at a deep rural district hospital and the local healthcare system begins to implode, leaving a nursing manager scrambling to re-assign remaining staff while the local population is left with the prospect of little more than a mediocre day hospital.
The story of the 180-bed Madwaleni Hospital in the Mbashe sub-district (with a population of 262 000, and rated the eighth most deprived sub-district in the country) of Amathole on the north Eastern Cape coast, with its 33 attendant clinics, is a cautionary tale which sadly epitomizes so much of South Africa’s human resources for health crisis.
That an entire community’s health needs can turn on the personal life of a single clinical manager (who left in February last year to marry a woman in Johannesburg where he was promptly offered a top multi-facetted academic post), portrays the historical neglect of the country’s health care staffing.

Author's affiliations

Chris Bateman, HMPG

Full Text



human resources for public health, shortages, rural health

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2011;101(11):794,796.

Article History

Date submitted: 2011-10-04
Date published: 2011-11-01

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