18 January 2013

South Africa: Shortage of Doctors Must Be Addressed

press release

A recent survey undertaken by SA Institute of Race Relations indicates that there is still a crippling shortage of doctors across the country and especially in the provinces of Limpopo and the Eastern Cape.

IFP Spokesperson on Health Mrs Hilda Msweli, MP said, "The Department of Health must urgently capacitate our public hospitals and clinics with the required number of doctors. We do not want to see another situation arise where lives are lost because of a shortage of doctors. The tragedy that recently occurred in Limpopo where four infants died at the George Masebe Hospital allegedly due to the shortage of doctors in the hospital, amongst other things, should never have happened and must never happen again."

The IFP urges with the Department of Health to encourage more students through outreach programmes to follow careers in the health services. These fields are critical to the care and well-being of our citizens and are distinguished career paths in and of themselves.

Msweli added, "The Department should provide bursaries to prospective students in these fields. Our public health system is falling apart. Our citizens are scared of being treated at public hospitals for fear of being victims of medical malpractice and our private hospitals are out of the financial reach of the many. The public health system is in crisis."

In addition, the IFP encourages the Department to seek other alternatives like temporarily hiring qualified and legitimate doctors from other countries as a solution to this crisis as there is no quick fix.

IFP Parliamentary Caucus' Media Liaison Officer, Boniswa Tiwe 072 497 1252

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