Doctors leaving South Africa

May 19, 1995

Advisers to the South African health ministry are suggesting national service for new doctors in response to a brain drain. The ministry wants to ensure that they work off some of the state money spent on their education before leaving South Africa.

A third of medical students at the universities of Cape Town and the Wi****ersrand are reported to be planning to leave after graduating. Figures released by the Central Statistical Service showed that in the first ten months of 1994, 76 doctors left - including 16 specialists - and that emigration rose by nearly 50 per cent.

However, the number leaving is probably much higher as many do not emigrate officially.

The medical gap is being partly filled by large numbers of doctors immigrating from eastern Europe and other African states, especially Uganda, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Kenya.

Dan Noaylyana, editor of the South African Medical Journal, proposes less draconian solutions. "We must provide them with an incentive to stay through job satisfaction. This means ensuring an acceptable working environment, which includes adequate supplies of drugs and equipment, proper nursing care and an end to overcrowding in hospitals," he told The Star in Johannesburg.

Dr Noaylyana said it was essential to keep as much talent in the country as possible: "On the other hand, we need only those who are committed to the future."

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Board Member BOURNEMOUTH UNIVERSITY (MAIN OFFICE)

Most Commented

Elderly woman looking up at sky

A recent paper claims that the quality of researchers declines with age. Five senior scientists consider the data and how they’ve contributed through the years

Otto illustration (5 May 2016)

Craig Brandist on the proletarianisation of a profession and how it leads to behaviours that could hobble higher education

smiley, laugh, happy, funny, silly, face, faces

Scholars should cheer up and learn to take the rough with the smooth, says John Tregoning

Eleanor Shakespeare illustration 19 May 2016

Tim Blackman’s vision of higher education for the 21st century is one in which students of varying abilities learn successfully together

James Minchall illustration (12 May 2016)

An online experiment proves that part of the bill for complying with the Freedom of Information Act is self-inflicted, says Louis Goddard