Public private training partnership to help grow South Africa’s emergency medicine expertise
Newly-specialised emergency medicine physician, Dr Shivani Pillay, who completed her registrar training through the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in October 2020, is helping to make a lifesaving contribution to the practice of emergency medicine in North West. Dr Pillay is the first of three young doctors awarded a bursary to complete the emergency medicine specialist physician qualification through the Wits Division of Emergency Medicine in partnership with the North West Department of Health (NWDoH). The Emergency Medicine Registrar Programme is funded through Netcare’s corporate social investment (CSI) arm, the Netcare Foundation, with the aim of building healthcare expertise and capacity in South Africa, as the qualified specialists will apply their specialised skills in the public sector.
“We warmly congratulate Dr Pillay on her achievement. She has taken on the responsibility for setting up the emergency department at Klerksdorp Tshepong Hospital Complex in North West province, adding to the specialised skills available in the public health sector in the province,” says Mande Toubkin, Netcare’s general manager emergency, trauma, transplant and CSI.
“Dr Pillay has already served the community during her specialist training through the Wits emergency medicine registrar academic rotation, which provided her with invaluable experience in the emergency departments at both public and private sector hospitals, namely at Klerksdorp Tshepong Hospital Complex and at Netcare Union Hospital in Alberton.”
Professor Feroza Motara of the Wits Division of Emergency Medicine commended the Emergency Medicine Registrar Programme and Dr Pillay. “This initiative shows that public private partnerships really do work. Netcare’s ongoing support is enabling us to train doctors who will then work in the public sector, and this will be especially valuable in rural areas of the country, where their skills are desperately needed. Dr Pillay has shown remarkable dedication throughout her training and has demonstrated her commitment to advancing emergency medicine,” Professor Motara says.
Dr Pillay thanked Professor Motara and the Wits Division of Emergency Medicine for the training she received as a registrar, and the Netcare Foundation which funded the Emergency Medicine Registrar Programme. “I am privileged to have learned from, and been inspired by, so many renowned leaders in the field of emergency medicine. I would also like to thank my parents, my family and my husband for their unwavering support throughout my career,” Dr Pillay says.
“I am very grateful for the opportunity to help improve and expand the practice of emergency medicine in the North West province. I hope to motivate, guide and mentor young professionals and equip them with the skills and knowledge to provide exceptional standards of emergency care to our communities.”
On behalf of the Netcare Foundation, Toubkin wished Dr Pillay every success for the future.
“As the first person to attain this qualification funded through the Netcare Foundation’s academic programme, we look forward to seeing Dr Pillay’s continued professional growth in her new capacity at Klerksdorp Tshepong Hospital Complex. In this public health role, she will have the opportunity to help strengthen emergency care in the province.”