Doctors skipping South Africa

by Aug 16, 2009All Articles

7 August 2009
Can you blame them? Would you work under their conditions for the grotty pay? These are highly intelligent people. Their skills are in demand worldwide and South African doctors particularly are highly sought after for their trauma experience. South Africa trains them, the world says thank you. Note the part where Mike Waters says “
A medical professional would only ever need this certificate if he or she was intending to apply to register to practice in another country.”

Almost 4000 applied. To leave.

Government will soon have no doctors left to implement the NHI.

A reply to a Democratic Alliance (DA) parliamentary question shows that the country is losing doctors at a rapidly increasing rate. Last year, 10% of all registered doctors and dentists in South Africa applied for a Certificate of Good Standing (CoGS) from the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), and there has been a 37% increase in applications for these certificates since 2006.
Applications for certificates of good standing by doctors and dentists:
2006     2007     2008     % increase
Total registered doctors and dentists     n/a     39 261     39 797     1.3%
Applications for certificates     2 890     3 266     3 957     37%
% who applied for CoGS         8.3%     10%    

This certificate proves that a medical professional has not contravened any of the rules or codes of the HPCSA.

A medical professional would only ever need this certificate if he or she was intending to apply to register to practice in another country.

The director-general of health stated at a health committee meeting yesterday that there was a plan to introduce legislation for the enormously controversial National Health Insurance (NHI) by June next year. Many doctors have already expressed strong reservations about this plan, and it is likely that if the NHI becomes more of an immediate reality, more doctors will leave.

The DA calls on the government and its alliance partners to look at these figures and appreciate the serious threat that they pose to the future of South Africa’s health care. Rather than taking the aggressive and inflexible approach that they have taken until now, we hope that they will start to consider that the NHI does have its problems.

One of these problems is that the medical professionals who are supposed to be its backbone, are deeply suspicious of it and as a result are leaving the country. Unless this problem is dealt with, there will be no medical professionals left to make it happen.

Statement issued by Mike Waters, MP, Democratic Alliance shadow minister of health.

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