Dr TP Thulo spent his working life devoted to the practice of surgery, and was a long time member of ASSA.

After graduating from Natal Medical University (now Nelson Mandela University) in 1978, he had showed his devotion to surgery and started working at Surgery department of Natalspruit Hospital (now Thelle Mogoerane hospital). After that, he worked at the Rand Mutual Mine hospital, where he was mostly dealing with acute care surgical cases, before joining the surgical training programme of Wits University. He then joined MEDUNSA (now Sefako Makgatho University). Subsequently, he obtained the post-graduate degrees of general surgery, namely, M.Med and F.C.S.

Affectionately known as Buki, by the colleagues and everybody who knew Dr. Thulo, he was always willing to assist his colleagues with any requests or difficulties they had. He would always go beyond his call of duty especially for thejunior registrars, who were struggling with training. They had a great respect to him and trusted his judgment.  During his surgical training time, he was well known to be a practical surgeon with a sense of humour and with his decent, artistic handwriting.

Dr Thulo belonged to a generation of general surgeons who were trained to be competent in every surgical disciplineHe started a successful surgical practice at Johannesburg in association with the Clinix Health Group, which has based onthe previously dis-advantaged community. He was recognized as a surgeon with excellent technical skills as well as a dedicated doctor who cared for the poor and the vulnerable. His enthusiasm to help his colleagues and patients was endless. He recruited and helped many young surgeons to start their practices within the previously disadvantaged communities.

In 2014, Dr. Thulo accepted the request to contribute his skills and expertise to the public sector by joining the Surgery Department at Leratong hospital which is the only regional hospital serving the West Rand region. He held the position of surgical unit head and clinical head of surgery departmentuntil his untimely departure. He shared his skills with junior surgical trainees and medical students. He was a mentor and role model to all and did relate well with both young and old.

He was always available to his patients, even after hours and even when he was not on call. He cared for all of them with the same standard whether they were from private or public hospital.  He treated them diligently, with respect and dignity. He sacrificed his life for the profession and showed the dedication and ethics of being a public servant.

Dr. Thulo’s professional life was supplemented by dedication to his family. He left his wife, Refiloe, son, Mlungisi and 2 grandchildren, Tshiamo and Kamogelo as well as the entire family and friends. Everybody will remember him as a humble and dedicated surgeon, a family man and a contributorto up-lift the community through education.  He was a man who loved soccer and music, and he enjoyed being an entertainer.

Dr. Buki Thulo will be missed by all.

MYINT TUN

Head of Surgery: Leratong Hospital

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