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Department of Health - Media Statement

Status On New Intake Of Nurses, Cuban Medicine Programme And Study/Bursary Opportunities
This statement seeks to inform and update the public on the new intake of nurses, the Cuban Medicine Programme as well as study/bursary opportunities available within the Northern Cape Department of Health.

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A) New Nurses Intake

The MEC of Health in province, Mr Mxolisi Sokatsha is proud to announce another intake of 62 new intakes of four year nursing students at the Henrietta Nursing College who started their studies on 01 July 2011. The new intake of nursing students is representative of all five Districts of the Northern Cape Province and is made up of the following breakdown per District: Frances Baard (12), Siyanda (11), Pixley-Ka-Seme (16), JohnTaolo Gaetsewe (13) and Namaqualand (10). The four year course studied will lead up to the registration as a nurse in general, psychiatric, community and midwifery.

The 62 new students thus, join the 40 second year students who were part of the 60 new intake of 2010 thus bringing the total number of students on the four year nursing programme to 102, 62 first year students and 40 second year students.

As part of the development of nursing staff professions, twenty eight (28) bridging students also commenced their studies at the beginning of July 2011. This programme specifically is aimed at career pathing for internal employees who have been employed as staff nurses for years and thus giving them an opportunity to qualify as professional Nurses.

Government has made health care a priority for the next five years and it is pleasing for us to witness the injection of a group of future nursing professionals into our health care system with the aim of increasing the number of qualified health care professionals in our province. This in itself will also translate into improved quality of health care as well as more accessibility of health care, especially in the rural areas of the Northern Cape Province.

The Henrietta Stockdale Nursing College in the Northern Cape Province is affiliated to the University of Free State for this program whereby all examinations of all the semesters are moderated at UFS, certificates are endorsed by UFS and governing structures have representatives from UFS. Learners are registered with the South African Nursing Council within the first month of commencement of training – Act 2005 (Act 33 of 2005).

The Henrietta Stockdale Nursing College is an English medium training institution accredited as such but lecturers meet students half way by also using Afrikaans.Text books are in English because Afrikaans textbooks are very rare. Learners are on a bursary system with the aim of employing the students in their respective districts after completion of their studies. Accommodation is provided at Hoffee Park-Kimberley and classes are conducted at Phatsimang campus- Kimberley.

Clinical training and placements are done at Kimberly Hospital Complex, Clinics and other District Hospitals across the province accredited by the South African Nursing Council for student training. The Teacher – Learner ratio is supposed to be 1:30 in the classroom and 1:15 in the clinical areas. All lecturers fulfill the requirement of possessing a degree in Nursing Education. The major challenge facing the nursing college is own infrastructure for growth to increase the student numbers as well better marketing.

B) Cuban Medicine Programme

The purpose of the programme is to ensure that the Department of Health addresses the shortages of doctors within the province and to award matriculants who don’t meet entrance requirements into medical schools in South African University an opportunity to pursue their medical studies in Cuba.

It is almost a decade that medical training of South African students in Cuba has been going on. This programme is a culmination of a series of bilateral discussions between the South African and Cuban Governments where a need to train medical doctors was identified as a priority particularly among the previously disadvantaged and underprivileged backgrounds.

The Northern Cape Department of Health has been involved in the programme since 2001, with two (2) students being sent to study medicine in Cuba. The number of students being sent by the Province to study medicine in Cuba has since improved with years to come with 5 students in 2002, 10 in 2003, 15 students in 2005, 10 in 2008 and 10 in 2010.

Currently, the Department has 22 medicine students in the Cuban programme, who are currently in their respective years of study. In 2011, 10 students completed their studies in Cuba and returned to South Africa to commence with their final Clinical years of study in South African Universities which forms part of their curriculum for as Cuban trained students to be recognized by the Health Professions Council of South Africa thus ultimately being able to practice as medical doctors.

5 students completed their final clinical years in South African universities and Graduated at a ceremony held at the University of KwaZulu Natal on the 14 of July 2011.

The Department will once again be awarding 12 students from within the 5 provincial Districts of the province, an opportunity to study their Medicine studies in Cuba for 2010. The 12 students have already been selected, after a rigorous process screening and selection that involved medical test (HIV, pregnancy and Hepatitis) and criminal record clearance.

Total Number of Graduates to date: 9

Total Number of students in their final year with South African Universities: 15

The district breakdown of the 12 selected candidates is as follow:

Frances Baard: 3 females
John Taole Gaetsewe: 2 females and 2 males
Namakwa: 1 female
Pixley ka Seme: 3 Males
Siyanda: 1 Male

Total: 12

Student names:

  1. Makibi GL - Pixley ka Seme
  2. Nxusani AT - Pixle ka Seme
  3. Mangena T - Pixley ka Seme
  4. Masinda K - John Taole Gaetsewe
  5. Setlhaleho BB - John Taole Gaetsewe
  6. Dithupe A - John Taole Gaetsewe
  7. Janjies SM - Namakwa
  8. George PA - Siyanda
  9. Ramokgari R.J. - Francis Baard
  10. Morake B.A. - Francis Baad
  11. Louw M.S. Francis Baard
  12. Moalahi K.R. - Francis Baard

C) Health Study/Bursary Opportunities

The Department has made bursary opportunities available to Northern Cape matriculates’ to pursue health science studies at any recognized South African institutions of Higher Learning. The bursaries are advertised annually in local newspapers in all Districts in the province and bursaries for 2011 have been advertised in local newspapers for the academic year of 2012 and are limited to the following health science fields:

  1. Bachelor Pharmacy
  2. HON/Masters Clinical Psychology
  3. Bachelors: Optometry
  4. MBCHB/ Medicine
  5. Bsc: Occupational Therapy
  6. Bsc: Nutrition/Dietetics
  7. Bsc: Physiotherapy
  8. Bsc: Speech %Audio Therapy
  9. 4 year nursing Diploma/ Degree in Nursing Science
  10. ND: Ultra Sound Radiography
  11. ND: Oral Hygiene
  12. BCHD/ Dentistry
  13. Degree: Clinical Associates
  14. ND: Emergency Medical Care/ Paramedic
  15. ND: Radiography

The closing date for applications is 31 October 2011 and all potential students/youth are encouraged to apply. Students who wish to apply must meet the following minimum requirement:

  • SA Citizens of Northern Cape Origin
  • Only Northern Cape applicants will be considered.
  • Applicants from designated groups will be given preference(race, gender, etc)
  • People with disability are encouraged to apply
  • Academically deserving students from poor and rural communities
  • The individual must be registered or is eligible for registration at any Institution of Higher Learning for disciplines advertised.

(NB!!} Interested persons should individually apply to institutions of higher learning; the Department only takes responsibility of awarding bursaries to qualifying applicants.

As government we believe that the training, particularly of our young people, is critical if we are to achieve our goal of a better life for all and realizing the Northern Cape Department of Health’s vision of “Health service excellence for all”. It is in this context that the Northern Cape Provincial Government is making deliberate efforts to intensify education and training through the abovementioned programmes.

Working together, we can do more!

Andrid F. Scholtz
Ministerial Spokesperson
Tel : 053 830 2000
Cell: 0824479696
Fax: 053 8331925
E-mail : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Issued by: Ministry of Health
Northern Cape Province
15 September 2011

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