Medical training body responds to Health Minister's health care reforms

The South African Committee of Medical Deans (SACoMD) says it's in support of reforming the current health care system.

It follows plans to shake-up the current system, revealed by the Health Minister on Thursday.

Professor Martin Veller is Chairperson of the South African Committee of Medical Deans.

The SACoCMD is supportive of the efforts to create universal access to health care in this country and particularly if that system is one that is going to support the health and well being of our population.

Professor Martin Veller, Chairperson of the South African Committee of Medical Deans

Earlier this month SACoMD released a statement condemning the 'dire' state of several of the country's health departments and the impact of the systemic failures on patients and medical students.

We feel that for the CURRENT purposes that the health care system or at least the training for health professionals is under funded...But clearly if we are able to find an improvement through the development of the NHI, then clearly we will support that, engaging with the Department of Health and the Minister to achieve that.

Professor Martin Veller, Chairperson of the South African Committee of Medical Deans

One of the concerns of the SACoMD was that permanent residents are being treated differently to citizens in the allocation of internship positions.

Prof. Veller says the SACoMD believes all students should be treated equally,

The Department of Health is using some form of ranking system which does put people who are permanent residents at a lower level of ranking to those who are South Africans, and that clearly is of some concern to us.

Professor Martin Veller, Chairperson of the South African Committee of Medical Deans

So what message does the SACoMD have for the Health Minster in light of the planned reforms?

Prof. Veller says it is a clear one.

We are committed to finding common solution and it is important that we as medical schools are given the opportunity to train health care professionals appropriate for the system he is looking at.

Professor Martin Veller, Chairperson of the South African Committee of Medical Deans

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