WATCH | How to get doctors to work outside cities

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  • Two things drive this dilemma. The first is that the government often doesn't have enough money to employ more doctors.
  • The second is that medical graduates don’t want to work in rural areas in the long term, meaning that rural hospitals struggle to attract and retain doctors even when they have the money.
  • One way of fixing shortages in rural areas is to admit more people from rural towns into medical school. This is because people from far-flung areas are more likely to return to practice there than those who come from cities.

Medical schools are producing more graduates than ever. But there’s a problem.

About half of South Africa’s doctors end up in the private sector, which results in millions of people in South Africa being unable to consult directly with a doctor. 

And secondly, not enough medical graduates are willing to work in rural areas. 

How do we counter these problems?

*This story was produced by the Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism. Sign up for the newsletter.

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