Bursaries are now being available to matriculants from poor families who have dreamed of becoming doctors.
The Mopani district municipality in Giyani, Limpopo, has earmarked R2 million in order to help deal with the general 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.
The bursary scheme is exclusively intended for studies in medicine, pharmacy, optometry, ophthalmology, dentistry, oral hygiene, environmental health, occupational therapy along with dental and speech therapy.
Shikwambana pointed out that the bursary scheme would in addition take care of 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 was quoted saying.
He explained that preference is going to be made available to the best-performing matriculants coming from poor backgrounds who are eligible for Bachelor’s degrees and also have secured an admission with 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 individuals of the population, which happens to be one of the lowest ratios globally.
The country would need to train approximately 2 400 doctors annually to maintain the current figures on par with population growth, however , universities currently only produce 1 200 new doctors on an annual basis.
For more information, contact Mopani district municipality –