“The rewards are being part of a system that contributes to helping the most disadvantaged patients in this population and actually making a tangible difference.”
“The professional experience that I’ve gained here has been amazing and will stand me in very good stead, particularly for a future in emergency medicine.”
“It’s got such a fantastic variety in nature, in people and in cultures. It’s such a rich country.”
These are some of the reflections of AHP doctors on their amazing experiences working in rural South Africa.
Mmmametlhake Hospital in Nkangala district in Mpumalanga offers doctors the opportunity to experience the unique lifestyle rural South Africa offers and expand their clinical horizons in a challenging environment.
The hospital serves the Dr JS Moroka local municipality with a catchment population of 249 705. Mmmametlhake is situated approximately 60km north-east from Hammanskraal and 103km north-east from Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa.
Mmametlhake is a 55-bed facility offering services to 22 clinics and 10 community health centres. On average, the facility’s Outpatient Department (OPD) sees 3 458 patients per month and the Casualty Department sees 722 patients per month. The most common cases dealt with in Casualty are motor vehicle accidents, assaults and sports-related injuries. The three most common cases that are referred to tertiary hospitals include head injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents, fractures and stab wounds. On average there are 152 births per month at the hospital, of which 123 (81%) are natural and 29 (19%) are caesarean sections.
The generalist nature of the medical services required in rural hospitals such as Mmmametlhake provides doctors with excellent exposure to the full range of primary medical disciplines, including obstetrics and gynaecology and surgery. In addition, they gain invaluable experience in the treatment of patients in advanced stages of diseases such as HIV/Aids, and exposure to emergency situations, including violent trauma and birth complications, which often are not prevalent in their home countries.
The quality of life and exposure to unique experiences that South Africa is able to offer is a major reason to consider working in a rural healthcare facility. In Mpumalanga, which means the ‘the land of the rising sun’, there are many tourism attractions to enjoy. The province is home to the Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest game reserves established in 1898. This national park of nearly two million hectares is home to an impressive number of species: Approximately 2000 plants, 53 fish, 34 amphibians, 118 reptiles, 517 birds and 147 mammals. Other tourism attractions include Blyde River Canyon – one of the world’s largest canyons – and the Sudwala Caves – the world’s oldest cave which is home to Collenia, the Earth’s first oxygen-producing plant.
For more information about tourism attractions in Mpumalanga visit the South African Tourism website.
To find out more about working at Mmmametlhake Hospital email AHP’s Recruitment team at firstname.lastname@example.org