NHI Note 4: Supply Constraints


This research note provides an overview of the current situation in terms of the supply side resources available in the healthcare sector in South Africa. Combining the data from several databases indicates that there is no certainty about the exact number of nurses, doctors and specialists currently working in South Africa. The note commences with an overview of available data sources on the numbers of doctors and nurses and shows that the official sources provide an overestimate of GPs of up to 25,000 doctors. This also applies to nurses and specialists. This means that international comparisons of human resource ratios using official data for South Africa do not provide the correct picture. In short, South Africa is in dire need of human resources in the health sector. Various estimates of the number of doctors, specialists and nurses that would be required under an NHI are presented in the last section


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