Shrinking numbers of medical researchers have impacted on the production of healthcare professionals in South Africa, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has said.
Speaking in Parliament at the launch of a national health PhD scholars programme today, he said there was an international “acute shortage” of medical personnel, but this was most pronounced in sub-Saharan Africa.
“In South Africa, one of the key impediments that has been constraining the production of healthcare providers is the decline in the health research workforce, which has been exacerbated by the burden of disease.
“There is limited capacity to produce healthcare professionals in the numbers the country requires.”
Fully-funded PhD scholarships have been awarded to 13 recipients from institutions across the country.
Motsoaledi said the recipients, some of whom were present at the event, would be able to pursue their research in medical and related fields.
The programme aimed to produce 1 000 PhD graduates over the next 10 years.