Sunday, August 7, 2022
HomeSouth AfricaSurvey finds large number of doctors considering leaving SA

Survey finds large number of doctors considering leaving SA

A survey by the union Solidarity’s Research Institute found that more than 80% of healthcare practitioners believe that the government’s planned National Health Insurance scheme will lead to a massive exodus of professionals from the country, destabilising healthcare in SA.

According to the survey, the overall sentiment among healthcare professionals towards the NHI is generally negative, with many complaining about a lack of information around the whole scheme, and worries that the plans will completely destabilise healthcare in the country.

While some indicated that they were sufficiently knowledgeable about the NHI scheme, a major complaint among respondents was that the White Papers presented by the Health Department in June were too vague and lacked any detail about the functioning and implementation of the NHI.

The vast majority said they were sceptical that the scheme will be successfully implemented, saying that more consultation needs to take place.

The report says healthcare professionals appear to agree that the cost of healthcare in South Africa is not affordable and that everyone has the right to quality healthcare – but are less united in the view that everyone should get the same level of healthcare irrespective of whether they pay for it or not.

Thus, the overall belief is that the subsidy system – the rich subsidising the poor and the healthy subsidising the sick – is not fair.

“Apart from the unaffordability of medical aid funds and private medical care, there is no agreement on the basic cornerstones of the NHI,” Solidarity said. “This is why (the majority) indicated that there had not been sufficient consultation with interested parties with regard to the objectives and planning of the NHI.)”

The report says one of the most worrying findings in the survey was that 83.2% of healthcare workers believed that private health professionals will leave the country if the NHI is implemented. 43% of the respondents said that they themselves would consider emigrating. There was also a firm belief that the scheme would completely destabilise the country’s healthcare as a result.

The major points of concern are: shortages of specialists, doctors, nursing staff and other healthcare workers; financial management of the NHI; purchasing and distribution of medicines and equipment; and maintenance of infrastructure and equipment.

The report says Solidarity previously highlighted 12 major concerns surrounding the NHI, which has left many questions unanswered, particularly around financing.

Initial projections of R259bn needed to launch the scheme were revealed to be a ‘best guess’. Solidarity anticipates that R369bn in extra tax would need to be collected by 2025 to cover the NHI – after which, R156bn will be needed every year.

This means an additional tax of 5% of GDP will be required, with an automatic tax addition of 1%-2% being considered, or even an automatic deduction by employers of 1.5%-4%, or premium being charged.

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[link url=""]Survey[/link]

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