In the majority of the African countries, the doctor-patient ratio is worrying. The health care crisis in Africa is mainly due to the fact that the country notes a decreasing number of doctors. The students in Africa who have a passion for medical studies should make a bright career in the same.
This will complement the concerns related to the Shortage of doctors. According to the latest World Health Organization statistics, Sub-Saharan Africa denotes an average ratio of 2 doctors and 11 nursing personnel per 10,000 population. The below sections will highlight the aspects related to Demand for doctors, the increasing demand for medical professionals and the scenario of the health care sector in the continent:
Overview of African health care sector:
In the past, African countries like Kenya and Uganda complained that they are suffering from a brain drain in the medical industry. The citizens residing in the rural regions need to face long treks and queues to avail medical assistance. Presently, advanced technologies are incorporated into the health care sector in order to enhance the existing situation for ordinary Africans.
The population in the country is growing at a rapid rate. Over the course of the last 20 years, the population has increased yearly by 2.5% and it is anticipated to elevate to 2.4 billion by 2050. Moreover, the country withstands 25% of the global disease burden and is served by only 2% of the globe’s health care workforce.
With the increasing population, there will be a rising demand for excellent quality and effortlessly accessible health care services to attain universal health coverage (UHC). The UHC suggest that all people would avail the health services according to their requirement without suffering from financial adversity. If the Shortage of doctors is met appropriately then UHC will succeed in its mission. The target to attain UHC by the year 2030 was framed in the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 and serves a goal for the continent to work on the same.
Taking a look at the health care scenario in South Africa, it presently executes a two-tiered health care system. This system comprises of the public and the small yet rapidly growing private sector. In 2017, the country already spent 9% of its GDP on health care and the same is 4% higher than the WHO’s recommended expenditure for a nation of its socioeconomic status. Notwithstanding this high expenditure, the health outcomes are not so effective compared to that in the identical middle-income nations. The reason behind the same is the discrimination between the public and private sectors.
The development of Africa health care sector is motivated by the establishments of hospitals or clinics, in-country manufacturing, rising options for micro-insurance, enhancement in health care delivery, increased number of solutions for serving POC health care, and intense focus on home diagnostics.
According to recent research stated in a new report, the IFC approximates that over the upcoming decade, the new investment of $25-$30 billion will be required to fulfill Africa’s health care demand. With this investment, the health care crisis in Africa will be appropriately met.
Growing demand for medical professionals in Africa:
There are in total of 57 countries with an acute shortage of health care workers; these countries have a shortage of 2.4 million doctors and nurses. In the African continent, there are 2.3 health care workers per 1000 population, while on the other hand, the Americas have around 24.8 health care workers per 1000 population.
The investigation of health care workers deficiency in Africa indicates that workforce deficiency in few countries under study is more upsetting than what is indicated by the prevailing literature. There are certain Sub-Saharan nations in which the workforce needs to be scaled up to 140%. Doing this would achieve international health development targets like those within the Millennium Declaration.
The regions of sub-Saharan Africa have an acute shortage of health care workers, with just 2 doctors and 11 nursing personnel per 10,000 populations. This is in comparison with 19 doctors and 49 nursing personnel in the Americas and with 32 and 78 respectively in Europe. Furthermore, the lack of nephrologists in Africa is also a major point of concern, with some African countries having less than one nephrologist per million population, while few have no nephrologists at all.
Opportunities for qualified medical professionals:
In Africa, the number of graduating doctors has raised by 18% between 2000 and 2012. Along with this rise, there is a shift from gender parity to more number of females, black Africans and individuals of mixed ancestry. The number of fresh medical students enrolling has annually risen by 34% during the period of 2000 to 2012.
South Africa presents several opportunities for medical professionals whether it is in metropolitan or rural settings. They get opportunities to work with a well-trained team of professionals. In the country, one of the best ways to motivate individuals to enter health-related professions is by targeting the education field. After completing the relevant medical education, the graduates can work as doctors or nurses or allied health personnel.
Government initiatives in the health care sector to meet the demand:
In order to meet the rising demand for doctors in Africa and to serve the patients betters, the government has taken some effective initiatives. The Demand Forecasting and Planning (DFP) are the processes implemented to assess patient needs by the use of statistical forecasting techniques. It is known that a Demand Forecast allows the government in South Africa to organize the investments required to fulfill the health needs of the population.
Those nations that suffer from a demand-based shortage only, the out-migration might be the key concern and it suggests policies geared towards retention. On the other hand, those countries that suffer from demand-based as well as needs-based shortages, they may go for a combination of training and recruitment policies. Government and donor organizations must take into account increasing financial support of health-care workers in the form of a means of enhancing recruitment and retention.
The national insurance scheme proposed by the South African government targets to undertake the stark divide in health care amongst wealthy and poor. The government anticipated that the scheme will deal with the issue by presenting universal access to health care depending on need and not the potential to pay.
National governments can raise the amount of financial assistance they offer to students enrolling in the health-related post-secondary programs. Along with focusing on the education industry, governments can enlarge the retirement age for physicians and several other medical personnel. In Ghana, it is found that the increment of the retirement age for doctors and nurses from 60 to 65 provoked close to two-thirds of the retired nurses and doctors to again enter the workforce.
Salary range & social status of doctors in Africa:
The average salary for a doctor or physician in Africa per year is R509,436. The stated figure is actually the average monthly salary comprising transport, housing, and several other benefits. In South Africa, the median salary for the doctor is 71,314 ZAR per month. The Shortage of doctors is one of the reasons behind the decent salary pay in the country. The social status of the doctors in the country is highly respected due to the fact that the country has an acute shortage of the number of doctors. The people here communicate with them with great respect and follow their instructions cautiously.
Enroll for medicine program at TAU-Zambia and make a brilliant career in health care:
The medical aspirants in Africa can make a bright career by enrolling in the School of Medicine at TAU-Zambia. This institute provides different courses including Bachelors of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) and Health Professions Foundation Program (HPFP). In this institute, the medicine program is one of the most esteemed programs offered by the university.
The career in the health care sector will be definitely bright if the students enroll at this institute. This is because the institute makes sure the students avail the pertinent practical experience. For the same, the institute has collaborated with different hospitals in Zambia. The institute considers the significance of the clinical rotations in medical learning and therefore it guarantees that you get the finest learning experience.
Take a look at the benefits of learning at TAU-Zambia:
- Students will avail profound learning in different disciplines that include medicine, public health, and management
- Excellent improvement in communicative and cognitive skills
- Learning is facilitated through revelation to practical cases
- Strengthens teamwork and community bonding
- Development in leadership proficiencies and career enhancement
- The study is imparted in ultra-modern laboratories and facilities
All these benefits and unique aspects of the TAU-Zambia institute indicate a bright career in health care for medical aspirants. The Demand for doctors will be met gradually once more and more students start enrolling in the institute.
The health care crisis in Africa can be effectively combated by increasing the opportunities for medical professionals and by government initiatives. The doctors’ shortage is severely affecting the health of the citizens and creating excellent opportunities for them will gradually decrease the shortage. The medical aspirants can enroll in TAU-Zambia to make a bright career in the medical field.