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Doctors and nurses are leaving South Africa – it means paying more, health aid warns

Part of South Africa’s national problem includes a severe shortage of skilled workers in critical industries, said Craig Comrie, director of health planning, Profmed.

Nowhere is this more evident than in our country’s health sector, he said.

“Not only is there a shortage of doctors, but there is also an urgent need for more nurses. This has a knock-on effect on other health care sectors which has brought down the cost to the citizen’s pocket.”

And according to Comrie, this reduced skill base drives up health care costs. “This is not about the resources that are available but the skills and management of these resources that are scarce. We are not creating a good strategy to retain the doctors and nurses in our system and to create more skills for people to have access to.”

He said that the skills that have been shown in the region and the health centers are developed countries that are the focus as Covid-19 is putting pressure on the best areas.

The shortage of skilled and experienced medical personnel is a global problem that poses a serious problem to the health system, and often, the immediate reaction from the developed markets is to hunt for medical professionals and specialists in South Africa.

Comrie said: “We have seen a huge exodus in the last three to five years, leaving us with a lot of talent. “The sad truth is that South Africa’s ability to produce health professionals has also been eroded over time due to immigration. and exits, leaving little room for specialized training.”

According to Comrie, South Africa has 28,000 registered doctors – not all of them do – and produces about 2,500 doctors every year. The registered doctors include retired doctors who are working well into their 70s because the demand for medical skills is high.

Please don’t go

Comrie called for a strong value proposition to keep health professionals in the country.

“Instead of increasing the number of doctors, we need to retain the talented doctors we have by creating and maintaining good and safe working conditions and wages related to the market, developing interest and opportunities for medical graduates in society and dental and health care opportunities.”

Comrie said the country has a shortage of doctors who are committed to the field of specialization in terms of training and continuing their education.

“This space will suffer at first because ‘specialists’ such as oncologists and electro physiologists – specialists in cardiac devices such as pacemakers etc – are few and far between. away. Public and private providers must combine many of these services just to make them accessible to patients. This puts the social and political situation under close scrutiny. .”

With more doctors leaving the country, Comrie said the basic economics of supply and demand means there are fewer doctors who don’t pay traditional drug plans because they have enough patients. pay money for their work.

“This leaves a financial gap for private patients, whether they are on health plans or paying out of pocket for services from the small pool of doctors left in South Africa. Many of the individual professionals who have their full notice for more than six months unless you have an emergency.”

Amid the ongoing NHI reform, health experts say little has been done to retain professionals as most of their wages come from health plans or private payers. .

On the progress of the NHI, Comrie said that many doctors have to continue to leave the country as they feel that they are insecure about the support of their lives. if it is estimated that most of their salary comes from NHI.

About half of Profmed’s team consists of medical professionals, doctors and health professionals. “Many members leave Profmed and migrate to other countries. This is what they have been sharing with us since they resigned from their association, so we know where this is going, and it is a big concern.

To bridge the gap between public and private health skills, Comrie said there is a need to create an environment of cooperation in the health sector where health workers offer their services to private and public companies. However, there is room for improvement in the relationship and there is little happening now. “

Comrie added that the country could reach a point where patients are comfortable accessing the services of a nurse instead of a doctor when it comes to addressing basic health care needs. And for complex and complicated medical conditions, he said that a doctor will be brought in, and later, if needed, a specialist is consulted.

“Creating more effective nurses and filling the current estimated 20,000 jobs in the public sector will be a very important start to improving the resource base. In a country like ours where Unemployment is a huge problem, and we need to look at a larger portion of the health care budget being allocated to these previously unfunded opportunities.

“At the moment, our skill base across public and private health remains on life support,” he said.


Read: South African medical associations are sending warnings to the government about doctors and other professionals

Doctors and nurses are leaving South Africa – it means paying more, health aid warns

Source link Doctors and nurses are leaving South Africa – it means paying more, health aid warns

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