Zululand Observer - Weekender
Health MEC to continue skills development
THE KZN Health Department has set aside R41-million in this financial year for its bursary programme that supports 425 students who are studying medicine and related professions.
MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu told the KZN Legislature on Tuesday that despite fiscal challenges, they will continue to advance the agenda of youth development.
‘For instance, the department has extended the 12-month contract of 317 graduate interns by a further 12 months in line with the directive by the Department of Public Service and Administration.
‘This is to accommodate the requirements of industry that demand work experience in order for them to become employable,’ she said.
She said the department will also continue providing bursaries to employees who are undergoing in-service training, to equip them with the critical skills that they require.
‘However, the department has been unable to absorb the previous 258 community service trainees, and has therefore had to release them from their obligation to serve the department so that they can seek employment elsewhere,’ Simelane-Zulu said.
She praised the success of the Cuba medical training programme which has benefitted hundreds of young people from various districts across the country, including King Cetshwayo, Zululand and uMkhanyakude districts.
‘We are pleased to report that 258 of these students who returned in July last year are now finalising their sixth year at local universities, and will commence their two-year internship programmes in January next year.
‘The distribution of doctors is improving our rural health facilities. In January the department placed 62 medical officers in addition to 258 doctors who returned from Cuba in July last year,’ Simelane-Zulu said.