South Africa

Government to find ‘creative ways’ to tackle doctor shortage

South Africa’s health department is in talks with the National Treasury to “find creative ways” to secure funds that will enable it to employ more medical professionals such as doctors, nurses and dentists, Minister Joe Phaahla said.

While employment of health professionals in the public sector has steadily increased over the past five years, “I would be the first to concede that these numbers are inadequate when considering the vast health needs” of the country, Phaahla said in an online briefing on Monday. 

Shortages of doctors and nurses are not unique to South Africa. They’re worse in many other countries on the continent, according to a World Health Organization study. In the UK, chronic staff shortages in the National Health Service have left some hospitals near breaking point. 

Nonetheless, this adds to a litany of problems confronting Africa’s most industrialized economy, which contends with frequent power cuts and where years of mismanagement and corruption at state companies and within the government have cost South African taxpayers billions of rand.

South Africa releases its annual budget later this month.


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