By Neville Maakana
Giyani – Bursaries are being offered to matriculants from poor families who dream of becoming doctors.
The Mopani district municipality in Giyani, Limpopo, has set aside R2 million to help address the shortage of health professionals in rural areas.
“This year, we have chosen the medical field because of the dire shortage of health practitioners in the country, province and district,” said municipal spokesman Neil Shikwambana on Tuesday.
The bursary scheme is only available for studies in medicine, pharmacy, optometry, ophthalmology, dentistry, oral hygiene, environmental health, occupational therapy as well as dental and speech therapy.
Shikwambana said the bursary scheme would cover tuition fees, books, accommodation and meals.
“Successful recipients would be required to work for the municipality for a period equal to the duration of their study,” he said.
He said preference would be given to best-performing matriculants from poor backgrounds who qualify for Bachelor’s degrees and have secured an admission at a recognised South African university.
“Strongly motivated applications from students who have successfully completed their first year of undergraduate study in a medical field will also be considered,” he said.
The deadline for applications is January 31.
South Africa has 0.57 doctors for every 1 000 members of the population, which is one of the lowest ratios in the world.
The country needs to train about 2 400 doctors annually to keep the current figures on par with population growth, but universities only produce 1 200 new doctors every year. – BuaNews
The Contact Details to the Giyani Municipality:
015 811 5500
015 812 2068
Main Road BA 59
Giyani Civic Centre
Opposite Old Khensani Hospital
Private Bag x9559