Doctor: Zithulele hospital

Liz Gatley

Since 2009 Dr Liz Gatley has been proving how far determination can go in uplifting what she calls “almost the forgotten people of our country”. Joining the Eastern Cape’s Zithulele Hospital in 2009, 29-year- old Gatley has been a major role-player in reducing the hospital’s mortality rates, despite rising patient numbers. Last year her tireless work earned her the Eastern Cape Rural Doctor of the Year award, as well as the class medal for her postgraduate diploma in HIV.

Gatley is a stalwart of Zithulele’s HIV programme, the first place she saw hope that we could beat the pandemic. Zithulele now services 10 surrounding clinics, where before almost nothing had stood in the way of the disease. Gatley is also known for coming up with simple, innovative solutions. For one patient in need of protein and cheering up, she prescribed a boerewors braai. Her famous homemade cupcakes seem to have a similar genial effect.

— Ian Macleod