A global shortage of healthcare professionals and doctors exist, no only in SA

Global shortage of doctors and healthcare workers

Felicity Duncan

No matter where you go, people are certain that their country is falling apart. SA is facing a shortage of doctors and nurses. So says health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize. There are not enough doctors to go around in SA, particularly outside big metropolitan areas.

However, the world is facing a doctor and nurse shortage. In Ireland and the UK, the papers are full of warnings about the medical professional shortage.  Governments are blamed for the lack of healthcare workers in small, rural towns. Most blame the governments. Healthcare systems in these countries are largely government-run. The same complaints are lodged in America’s(US) media. In the US, the shortage is blamed on insurance costs and lawsuits aimed at bad doctors.

But here’s the reality: there is a global shortage of healthcare professionals. The reason for the increased demand? Especially rich countries is full of old people. Creating new health workers is time consuming and expensive. The pool of suitable young people to be trained as doctors is growing slower than demand. There is a high demand and a constrained supply. This had resulted in a world-wide shortage. This is a long-term problem. It would require a global effort to increase supply. It’s not a uniquely South African issue.

Source: BizNews letter sent to editor at Newshorn.