Covid has had a major impact on medical care, including a shortage of doctors and nurses, according to the South African Medical Association (Sam).
According to Sama board member Dr Angelique Coetzee, although there is a shortage of doctors, there is also a backlog of specialists in the country.
This follows the call from the Hospital Association of SA to include medical skills in the critical skills list.
“Financing is a huge problem in SA so we know there is definitely a shortage and the government needs to focus on putting money aside to make sure people are working,” said Coetzee.
“But if it doesn’t, in the future we’ll see people getting health care in institutions where there are only a limited number of health workers.”
The hospital association’s CEO, Dr. Dumisani Bomela, said the association was baffled by the omission of medical skills, particularly nurses and doctors.
He said that in a presentation on the proposed National Health Insurance to the parliamentary health committee, they made clear how far behind the SA was in terms of available medical skills and how stalled the production of those skills has become.
“Omitting skills that were previously on the critical skills list sends the message that we’ve overcome the problem, but that’s just not the case,” he said.
“It cannot be, as the nursing profession has long struggled to attract new recruits, a situation exacerbated by the changes in the nurse training program and the accreditation of training facilities that are increasing the number of new nurses being trained to become nurses. brought to a standstill.”
Bomela said that with a significant number of nurses in the profession over 50 and soon to retire, it would be more difficult to reconcile the Human Resources for Health strategy for 2030.
†[This]projects a shortage of 34,000 nurses by 2025 if nothing is done to attract and retain the declining number of aspiring nurses with this list of critical skills.”
Meanwhile, the prime mover #PutSouthAfrica and youth activist Lucky Biyela said the critical skills list does not reflect entry-level jobs that ordinary South Africans could do on a daily basis, which could help clarify policies on jobs for South Africans.
“We understand that the critical skills list provides an overview of those skills that are scarce in the country, but we need a list that is not primarily aimed at attracting foreigners,” he said.
“I’m just thankful that it includes teachers, as they were removed from the list in 2014. Now we’re seeing more unemployed graduates get jobs they went to school for.”