Thousands of foreign doctors working in rural SA

South African doctors do not want to work in rural areas and a non-profit organisation is meeting the needs of the population by recruiting foreign doctors to work in the deepest parts of the country.

Africa Health Placements focuses on the remote and the most rural parts of South Africa and they find doctors who are then absorbed by the department. The doctors are contracted by the national Department of Health.

Provincial health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said the work done by Africa Health Placements was helping the department where South African doctors were falling short.

“Their recruitment is working a lot for the rural areas. We have a problem with locally produced doctors who do not want to go work in rural areas.

“Despite various efforts, even those sent to Cuba stay only for the duration of their community service and choose to work in urban areas.”

Stacey Pillay, the chief innovation officer at the centre, said different types of doctors were sent to various health facilities based on their needs.

Pillay said their primary role was to ensure that even people in the least advanced parts of South Africa had access to doctors.

According to its website, Africa Health Placement has been operating in South Africa since 2005.

To date, it has placed more than 4 100 South African and international doctors in different parts of rural South Africa.

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