Compared with other middle-income countries, child health in South Africa is in a poor state, and should be addressed by focusing on the health care needs of all children across a system or region. Paediatricians have had little effect on this situation, partly because their training is not aligned with South African needs. The proposed re-engineering of primary health care will be limited by the skewed distribution of staff and the lack of suitable skills. A ‘community’ placement during specialist training, and the creation of a sub-specialty in Community Paediatrics and Child Health, could address the skills shortage and possibly attract health personnel to under-served areas through creating an appropriate career path. This proposal would also support the Department of Health’s encouraging plans to re-engineer primary health care.
George Swingler, University of Cape Town
Michael Hendricks, University of Cape Town
David Hall, University of Cape Town
Susan Hall, University of Cape Town
David Sanders, University of the Western Cape
Neil McKerrow, Pietermaritzburg Metropolitan Hospital Complex, KwaZulu-Natal
Haroon Saloojee, Division of Community Paediatrics, University of the Witwatersrand
Steve Reid, Primary Health Care Directorate, University of Cape Town
Pediatrics; Public Health; Education; Child Mortality; Child Health Services; Healthcare Disparities; Primary Health Care; Health Manpower; Health Service Administration;
Cite this article
South African Medical Journal 2012;102(9):738-739.
Date submitted: 2012-02-07
Date published: 2012-07-31
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