Minister appeals to medical students

Minister appeals to medical students

MASERU – HEALTH Minister Nyapane Kaya has appealed to Basotho medical students to return home after completing their studies.
Kaya was speaking at a meeting with the Lesotho Medical Students Association (LEMSA) in Maseru last Saturday.
Kaya bemoaned the brain drain that has for the last two decades left Lesotho in dire shortage of Basotho health professionals.
“We have a serious shortage of general practitioners as well as specialised medical practitioners because there are only 25 percent of Basotho doctors in government-owned health centres,” Kaya said.

He said Basotho’s lives are at stake because of the shortage of doctors.  “They offer essential and critical services to patients,” he said.
Kaya said the doctors are “special in the health departments and they also assist with the training and mentorship of the other health practitioners”.
“I appeal to students that regardless of the low income earned in this country compared to other countries, they should return home to rescue their nation,” Kaya said.
He said they should bear in mind that they acquired their education from the nation’s taxes.

He said the nation is in danger of being infected by communicable and non-communicable diseases and the death of infants and their mothers during birth.
“We are determined as the ministry to appeal to medical students to return home,” he said. LEMSA acting president Makhetha Lephahamela said the association, which started in 2008, has over 205 members from different international schools of medicine.

Lephahamela said it is part of the association’s mission to encourage members to come back to Lesotho to help.
“We want to serve Basotho during our training and after our gradation,” he said.
“However, we are worried about the internship that is offered in Lesotho.”

Lephahamela said last year their internship programmes outside the country were cancelled by the former Minister of Health ’Molotsi Monyamane.
He said their core issue is to know “how credible Lesotho’s internship programme is, whether it is up to the international standard”.
Lehahamela said the low salaries are not their major concern.

Ministry of Health Director General ’Nyane Letsie said medical students should talk about their problems so the government can help them.
Letsie informed the students that government is rebuilding Queen Elizabeth II Hospital and Cancer Hospital, which will need more doctors.
She said they are appealing to them that “despite the problems that are there in the country you should come back home because irrespective of the economic problems the country has, you still get the chance to be sponsored”.

’Makhotso Rakotsoane

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