Medics crisis is globalsays minister

THE higher salaries proposed for public service doctors is only the first phase of improving their working conditions, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said yesterday.

THE higher salaries proposed for public service doctors is only the first phase of improving their working conditions, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said yesterday.

"The issue of poor working conditions and career pathing is still on the cards.

"We acknowledge that doctors are overworked ... the problem is a global concern.

"Rich countries are experiencing the same shortage, which is why they recruit from Third World countries."

He said localethical recruitment policies prevented SA from doing the same.

Only 20000 doctors are practising in SA - about 12000 of whom work in the private sector and the rest in public institutions.

A 2003 study showed that thousands of doctors have left SA to work overseas.

Medical schools have taken in only about 1200 new students a year since 1999.

Motsoaledi said that to overcome the shortage, SA would have to produce 9000 doctors a year for the next 10 years.

He said he wanted to meet the minister of higher education to discuss increasing the number of doctors qualifying at local universities.

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