Pat Naidoo 2012

Acclaimed South African medical doctor, Patkunan (Pat) Naidoo, was awarded his medical degree MBChB from the University of Natal in 1966. After receiving his degree, he completed his internship at the King Edward VII hospital in Durban for a year and then from 1968 until January 1973 did various stints in private practice and in hospitals around the country, including the position of Medical Registrar at Groote Schuur in Cape Town.  In 1971, he became a Fellow of the College of Physicians of South Africa.

In February 1973, he made his way to the Eastern Cape and took up the position of Senior Specialist of the Department of Medicine at Livingstone Hospital in Port Elizabeth where he started a Postgraduate Medical Teaching Programme.   The significance of this programme is that Livingstone Hospital has produced two to four physicians every year – better than most “so called” teaching hospitals, and a significant contribution to the specialist skills pool of the country.

During his illustrious career, he has occupied top positions in hospitals in Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and the UK, including Head of the Renal/Transplant Unit at Groote Schuur and the Director of Postgraduate Training at the Port Elizabeth Health Resource Centre.

Dr Naidoo served as a member of the ANC Health Desk of Port Elizabeth, involved in policy formulation and development of the ANC Health Plan. This laid the basis for an integrated public health system, which expanded access to healthcare for poor people, particularly those in previously neglected rural areas. In 2002, he received his registration in sub-specialty Nephrology from the College of Medicine of South Africa.

He has made a significant contribution to designing the architecture of the country’s healthcare system by serving on numerous strategic management teams looking at the state of health care, including being Head of the Hospital Commission pilot project to coordinate resources of the Eastern Cape Province. This involved assessing 34 hospitals, culminating in a report with recommendations to the Provincial Cabinet. In addition, he was involved with the Moodley Commission on the future of Academic Health Centres with recommendations to the National Minister of Health.

The standard of healthcare in Port Elizabeth has improved vastly due to Dr Naidoo’s input and he has broken every rule in the book to ensure that standards are maintained and that staff and equipment are allocated to hospitals.

He has gained international respect for what he has done for medicine in the Eastern Cape and has received awards for his role in health policy development and human rights interventions.

For his life-long contribution to serving the needs of the sick and the poor through his dedication to public health services, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University is honoured to present Dr Pat Naidoo with the Council Prestige Award.