Denying reality no longer an option – stark HR report

Chris Bateman


Hastily re-opened nursing colleges need to churn out 51 200 professional nurses over the next decade and medical campuses double their output of GPs over the next 15 years – just to maintain the current (dismal) ratios to population.
The full extent of the herculean task required to just maintain the status quo – let alone make dent in the shortfall – emerged this August with the release of the government’s long-awaited draft human resources (HR) for health strategy document.1 Scenario assumptions, drawing on key research and reports of many of the country’s top experts, show that at a constant GDP growth rate and with ‘concerted investment’ for the next five years (3 - 5% annual growth rate in health staff spending), it is possible to close the gap in ‘realistic numbers’ in 20 years. The report takes a vital, unprecedented eagle’s eye look at the haemorrhaging GP and specialist cadres and the skeletal, ageing and special skills-starved nursing sector in what it frankly describes as a ‘failing health system’.

Author's affiliations

Chris Bateman, HMPG

Full Text



human resources for public health, shortages

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2011;101(10):700,702.

Article History

Date submitted: 2011-09-01
Date published: 2011-09-27

Article Views

Abstract views: 2263
Full text views: 3978

Comments on this article

*Read our policy for posting comments here