Our current health care system is not appropriately addressing the death and disability in our country – we need a major shift to education and prevention.
In South Africa the existing higher education sector is unable to meet the graduate output required by the health sector while foreign recruitment is constrained by current legislation on the registration and practice of foreign healthcare professionals. The Ministries of Health and Higher Education and Training in South Africa should give serious consideration to giving effect to the recommendation on private providers contained in the Green Paper for Post-School Education and Training, specifically, working with vetted private health sciences education providers to strengthen and expand provision in compliance with quality and accreditation requirements in priority and/or scarce skill areas.
Medical graduates that are currently produced by the education system are ill-equipped to manage health challenges within their communities which can be addressed by the primary health care approach. Wits University Medical School introduced the Graduate Entry Medical Programme in 2003 to expose the students to public health and primary care disciplines as well as the traditional hospital based clinical training. A study conducted amongst the medical students in their final year of study and those in their first year
showed, however, that the medical school experience at the University as it is currently did not appear to have any influence with respect to working in primary care disciplines or remain in the public sector.
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