SA healthcare is headed to ICU

SA Healthcare on the rack. William Saunderson-Meyer says govt makes it ridiculously difficult for foreign trained doctors to practice in SA


Universal health care is a laudable objective. It is the dream by every South African who doesn’t have a stony heart and a comfortably insulating bank balance.

Unfortunately, it’s just not clear who the hell is going to do the actual caring.

In a country where there is already an acute shortage of doctors and nurses, the authorities are doing their very best to get rid of those who remain. Two recent departures have hit the headlines.

HIV expert Dr Francoise Louis, one of the first practitioners in SA to prescribe antiretrovirals in defiance of government disapproval, has just returned to France after a seven-year struggle to register to practise. The final straw was an HPCSA demand that she produces a “certificate of mentorship” from the university where she qualified – a document that simply doesn’t exist in the French system.

Another is Uganda-trained Dr Michael Ribeiro, one of fewer than 20 surgeons in SA qualified to perform reconstructive microsurgery on hands. He was forced to work without a salary for eight years in the public sector, as the Health Department does not allow non-South African registrars to be paid while they doing their specialisation.

The final straw for Ribeiro was the HPCSA’s obstructiveness and incompetence when he applied to open an independent practice and to do a mix of public and private work. After 11 years of frustration and despite raising two children here, he is now leaving for Kenya.

These elite doctors are leaving not because they are seeking greener pastures – more money, better working conditions, physical security – but because the Health Professions Council (HPCSA) made their work impossible.


For the full article please link to – Politicsweb

I know I said some months ago that I would steer clear of politics; my excuse for the above is that the healthcare situation is about obstructive bureaucracy which seems to be out of touch with reality.


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