Public health buckling under increasing burden of immigration and disease — Mkhize

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Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says the demand for health services in South Africa is increasing and funds to address the change are limited mainly due to the continuous rise of immigration and the increasing burden of disease. News24 reports that Mkhize made the remarks in response to a parliamentary question from Freedom Front Plus MP Phillipus van Staden who asked him what the reasons were for the shortage of doctors and nurses in South African state hospitals.

In his response, Mkhize said: “The primary reasons why the Republic (of South Africa) has a shortage of doctors and nurses is the fact that the public health sector budget has not been increasing in real terms for the past 10 years, impacting on the number of staff that can be appointed.

“Furthermore, the demand for health services in the country is increasing while there is no additional funding to address the change, which results primarily from immigration and the increasing burden of disease.

“The shortage of health professionals is a global phenomenon and is more pronounced in low- and middle-income countries as health workers are more likely to migrate to upper-middle-income countries in search of better living and working conditions.”

News24 report

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