Reporter: Wing Yee Leung
Contact at destination: Ministry of Health & Quality of Life, Mauritius (All electives in Mauritius have to be organized through them and not directly with the hospital. At my time of application the person in charge was Mrs Ooriah.) Medical Superintendant at SSRN was in charge of elective students: Dr Baichoo O&G consultant I was shadowing: Dr Ramgulam
Year of visit: 2009
Institution: Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam National Hospital, Pamplemousses, Mauritius
Departments: Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Work / Study undertaken: Gynae Outpatients, Antenatal clinics and theatres mainly.
Description of the service and department: Healthcare in Mauritius is free and the SSRN hospital is the biggest hospital in Mauritius, with a large number of patients turning up for appointments every day.
GOPD: Consultant leads the clinic with junior doctors running jobs for him. Late patients are seen by junior doctors.
ANC: Mostly seen by junior doctors and reviewed by consultants if it was a complicated case or if the junior doctors had any queries.
There are not many ward rounds and only time I saw doctors seeing patients was in the labour ward and before a caesarian section. Junior doctors man the labour ward and carry out normal vaginal deliveries with the help of midwives. Doctors speak Creole among themselves but all have high command of English and will be able to translate for you if you asked. All medical notes are written in English with universal medical symbols and short-hands that were easily comprehensible. Patients usually did not speak good English but could understand French. However if you are following an intern, he or she would be happy to translate for you if you have difficulties.
Description of the destination: Pamplemousses is in central Mauritius. There is not much to do there except a huge botanical garden similar to Kew gardens in London. Most elective students stayed in Grand Baie, where the nightlife and tourists were. There were public buses to take one from Grand Baie to SSRN hospital, as well as other parts of Mauritius. But to get to the Southern side or West coast, I would definitely recommend renting a car.
Were the local people friendly? Very friendly and courteous. Patients also have a lot of respect for doctors.
Did you feel safe and if not why not? Yes. We felt safe walking around at night in Grand Baie as two girls. A generally very safe place with sensible precautions to be taken like anywhere else.
What did you do in your spare time? We went to the beaches a lot. We also rented a car to visit other parts of Mauritius.
Is there anything that you would particularly recommend others to do? Explore other parts of Mauritius. And visit Port Louis the capital on weekdays as it is dead during the weekend! Tamarin falls, swim with dolphins, take a catamaran to offshore islands…… Eat seafood!!
What time of the year were you there? What was the climate like? September. Mostly good weather with some rainy days.
What was your accommodation like? We stayed at a self-catering villa flat in Grand Baie with own kitchen and bathroom. It was low-season in Mauritius so we had a good rate.
Was it provided? No
If not who arranged it? Selves.
How much did it cost? 200pounds each.
Did you enjoy your visit? Very much so. After a while we took the beautiful beaches for granted, only to realize we were going to miss them so much in our last few days.
Did you find the visit useful medically? – in what way? To a certain extent. I saw how culture and doctor-patient relationship alter the way diseases and pregnancies are managed. However, I did not learn anything new.
Has it improved your French? Most doctors spoke good English and were very willing to communicate with me in English. I marginally improved my French in the sense that I was able to understand some phrases in Creole because of my French knowledge. And there were also more opportunities to read French.
How has it increased your knowledge of French culture? Traveling around the island and especially to Port Louis gave me more ideas of how French colonization has influenced this country. The different ethnic communities, including the French Mauritians, are very well integrated and harmonious. I was able to understand more of French colonization than French culture per se.
If you went back would you do anything differently? Spend more time at Minor OT and Emergency medicine.
How did you get there? Direct flight on British Airways.
What was the approximate total cost? Entire elective about £2,200, including traveling in Tanzania afterwards.
Is there any other information that you think may be useful? The Ministry of Health is very slow at getting back to you regarding elective arrangement so make sure you put some pressure on them every time you are on the phone with them. Get hold of a name so you can always call back for that person to chase up your elective arrangements.
It is better if you have a contact in the hospital and know some local people with a car.
Reporter: Clare Smith
Contact at destination : Dept of Health & Quality of Life, Emmanuel Antiquil Building , Port Louis , Mauritius (all electives have to be organised through this office).
Paeds supervisor: Dr Tancanamootoo ( Victoria Hospital )
Ophthalmology supervisor: Dr Dawreeawoo ( Moka Eye Hospital )
Year of visit: 2005
Institution: Victoria Hospital , Quatre Bornes , Mauritius and Moka Eye Hospital , Mauritius .
Departments : Paediatrics and Ophthalmology
Work / Study undertaken: Experience in wards, outpatient clinics and theatre.
Description of the service and department
Ward rounds in French / Creole but written notes in English. Variable teaching depending on Doctor – some very keen to have students. Moka is a 10 minute bus ride from Quatre Bornes / half an hour from Port Louis and is new and well equipped. Victoria has reasonable facilities but can be quite chaotic and overcrowded! Ward rounds in French / Creole but written notes in English. Variable teaching depending on Doctor – some very keen to have students. Moka is a 10 minute bus ride from Quatre Bornes / half an hour from Port Louis and is new and well equipped. Victoria has reasonable facilities but can be quite chaotic and overcrowded!
Description of the destination: Quatre Bornes is about 20 minutes from the Coast and not particularly a tourist destination. Although its not the prettiest place in Mauritius you get a genuine impression of local life, and it has a great market.
Were the local people friendly? Yes – but are often reserved at first. Multicultural population makes for a lot of diversity in a small place.
Did you feel safe and if not why not? Always, though we did hear of other students having bags snatched up in Grand Baie(so don’t leave things on beaches without watching closely).
What did you do in your spare time? Went to beach at Flic en Flac and ate out a lot there (recommend Kenzibar). Visited temples, coloured volcanic sands, botanic gardens, Port Louis waterfront.
Is there anything that you would particularly recommend others to do? Use local buses to explore the interior of the Island – beautiful hills and acres of sugar plantations.
What time of the year were you there? What was the climate like?
July to September. Sunshine most days and temp 20-25. Occasional heavy downpours of rain, but not too humid. Things start to heat up in September!
What was your accommodation like? Stayed at a friend’s house.
Was it provided? No
If not who arranged it? Selves
How much did it cost? Nothing. Food and drinks reasonably cheap in Mauritius (a phoenix beer, for example, costs Rs 50 = £1).
Did you enjoy your visit? Yes – but 6 weeks in Mauritius was enough. Glad we did more travelling afterwards.
Did you find the visit useful medically? – in what way? You see pathology that has reached a worse stage at presentation than you would in the UK . GPs do not exist so everything happens in hospital. Different attitudes toward patient care due to numbers of admissions.
Has it improved your French? Yes (spoken rather than written). Madagascar best for speaking French as fewer people know any English).
How has it increased your knowledge of French culture? Eureka Villa gives a good impression of Island history and French colonial way of life. Islanders nearly all speak French but the country is independent and feels more like India in its culture.
If you went back would you do anything differently? No
How did you get there? Air France from STA travel (~£800)
What was the approximate total cost? Entire elective cost about £2,200, but that included 3 weeks holiday in Madagascar .
Is there any other information that you think may be useful? Had some trouble after admitting we were students at customs – just say you are a tourist and there’s less hassle with visas! Lonely Planet Guide included most relevant info. There is another hospital at Pamplemousses that some students went to but it is more isolated if you don’t have a car.
Reporter: Nicola Brooker
Contact at destination
Year of visit: 1997
Institution: Sir Seewoosagur Ramagoolam Hospital, Pamplemousses, Mauritius
Work / Study undertaken: Looked at the care of diabetes in Mauaritius – in hospitals and a community level
Description of the service and department
Description of destination: In the north of the island, on the beach. Quiet and 30 minutes away by bus from tourist ate in Grand Baie
Were the local people friendly?: Yes but single women (white) get harassed non-stop. mauritian men were a nuisance rather than a threat.
Did you feel safe and if not why not? Generally but didn’t end up by going out alone especially not at night.
What did you do in your spare time ? Beach, Club Med and visiting various places, i.e. Île aux. Cerfs. We stayed with a local family and went out to dinner and to visit their relations
Is there anything that you would particularly recommend others to do? Visit Île aux Cerfs, Club Med – very good for waterspouts, golf, tennis etc.
When were you there and what was the climate like? September – Mostly warm, rained sometimes. The evenings were cool.
Where did you stay? Maison de famille de Notre Dame, Manenbourg, Aquamarine, Royal Road, Trou auz Biches. There are Lots of places to stay
What was your accommodation like? Very basic – no hot water, two gas hobs, sink, fridge, shower, toilet and room. One of our beds was alive!
Was it provided? No
If not who arranged it? Self
How much did it cost?
Did you enjoy your visit? yes – interesting cultural differences – language (Creole) a problem.
Did you find it useful medically? in what way? Yes
Has it improved your French?
How has it increased your knowledge of French culture?
If you went back would you do anything differently? Learn Creole – impossible to communicate with the patients otherwise.
How did you get there? Flew via Harare with Air Zimbabwe. Can go with lots of airlines but we wanted to spend two weeks in Zimbabwe.
What was the approximate total cost? £2000
Is there any other information that you think may be useful?
Transport is a problem – public transport slow hire cars expensive.
Only in hospital between 9 and 12 each day, therefore need to live near hospital and also an area with lots going on – nice beach, watersports, restaurants and shops.