Someone like you: Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi encouraged UCT health sciences students to take on leadership roles in addressing national health challenges.
Speaking at UCT recently, Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said sound leadership is critical in addressing problems facing the health sector in South Africa.
In his talk, Shaping Leaders in Health, Motsoaledi outlined why leadership in health “is now needed more than ever in South Africa”. Among his department’s main goals are to increase life expectancy (which has plunged dramatically over the past years), decrease maternal mortality, combat HIV/AIDS, and decrease the burden of disease.
The event was hosted by the Health Sciences Student Council to encourage, reaffirm and redefine the role and importance of dynamic and relevant leadership in the health sector. It also highlighted the potential of students to become the ‘agents of change’ as the future health professionals.
South Africa suffered from a “quadruple burden of diseases” in HIV/TB, maternal mortality, non-communicable diseases, and violence and injury, said Motsoaledi.
The challenge is the country’s shortage of doctors, he said. In response, the government plans to expand the number of medical schools.
“As leaders, we are looking forward to you coming and helping to solve this big mess. It needs people like you – very dedicated people,” Motsoaledi told students.