Dr Karl le Roux, former chairperson of the Rural Doctor’s Association of South Africa (RuDASA) has many years experience in providing healthcare for rural communities, through his work at Zithulele Hospital in the Eastern Cape. At a RuDASA conference, he shared some career insights around rural health:
“When the rural bug bites, it’s hard to leave.”
“It’s challenging, very busy, stimulating, sad, and eye-opening.”
“People will tell you that they couldn’t come to the hospital to fetch their ARVs because the river was full. Every patient is a challenge.”
Doctors can improve their medical skills greatly. He said that working in rural hospitals can also be fun as it gives doctors an opportunity to learn from each other and work in a great team.
“You deal with infectious disease, diseases of lifestyle, and trauma. South Africa is a high burden society in terms of healthcare.”
And there is a great demand for healthcare workers in rural areas.
“You can make a difference. You can change and improve things.”
“You can save lives.”