Medical practitioners and medical specialists : profile and key factors for South Africa

Van Heerden, Andries Johannes (2008-12)

Thesis (MBA (Business Management))--Stellenbosch University, 2008.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Recent years have been witness to the co-existence of incredible advances in human well-being and healthcare development on the one hand and extreme deprivation and a significant drop in numerous health indicators on the other. Central among this paradox lies the key to accessible, comprehensive and dedicated healthcare - the health workforce and the numerous factors impacting on health professionals and health professional data. Key to health care human resource planning is a comprehensive understanding of the environment and demands that health professionals are faced with. This must be supported by knowledge of the profile of health professionals in a specific country and should lead to detailed health resource planning, based on benchmarks and analytical interpretation of the factors that both determine and influence the number of health professionals. This research report provides an abbreviated background to the local and international health sectors, profiles the current number and distribution of medical practitioners and selected medical specialists in the country and internationally, identifies the key factors for consideration in projecting the number of medical practitioners and medical specialists required for South Africa and proposes a framework for taking the process forward. The research showed that, while there are positive aspects to the South African health professional environment, the country faces dire regional disparities and does not compare favourably to many of its international peers in terms of health professional resources. The key aspects that influence health human resources were identified and it became clear that sustainable and comprehensive health resource planning is not a mere matter of ratios, but is indeed dependent on a number of critical success factors. It is critical that health human resource planning in South Africa requires urgent and comprehensive attention. Failure to address this urgently will result in a health care system continuing to struggle to meet the health care needs of the population. A structured approach is possible, but requires dedication and careful planning.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die laaste paar jare is gekenmerk deur die kontras van indrukwekkende vooruitgang in lewenskwaliteit en gesondheidsorg aan die een kant en ekstreme tekortkominge en die verswakking van gesondheidstatistieke aan die ander. Sentraal tot hierdie paradoks is die sleutel tot toeganklike, omvattende en toegewyde gesondheidsorg - die gesondheidswerkers en die vele faktore wat gesondheidswerkers en - data beinvloed. Die kern van gesondheidsorg menslike hulpbronne beplanning is 'n omvattende begrip van die omgewing en vereistes waaraan gesondheidswerkers blootgestel word. Dit moet ondersteun word deur in diepte kennis van die gesondheidswerker profiel binne in 'n spesifieke land en behoort te lei tot gedetaileerde gesondheidsorg menslike hulpbronne beplanning, na aanleiding van toepaslike verwysingsraamwerke en 'n analitiese interpretasie van die faktore wat die aantal gesondheidswerkers beide bepaal en noodwendig beinvloed. Hierdie navorsingsverslag verskaf 'n sinoptiese agtergrondskets van die nasionale en internasionale gesondheidsektore, gevolg deur die profiel (getalle en verspreiding) van die algemene praktisyns en geselekteerde mediese spesialiste, beide in Suid Afrika en internasionaal. Dit identifiseer die belangrikste faktore vir oorweging in die projeksie van die aantal algmene praktisyns en mediese spesialiste benodig en sluit af met 'n voorgestelde raamwerk vir voortgesette omvattende beplanning. Die navorsing het getoon dat, alhoewel die Suid Afrikaanse gesondheidswerker omgewing deur positiewe aspekte gekenmerk word, die land steeds onderworpe is aan daadwerklike streeks ongelykhede en boonop nie besonder positief vertoon teenoor ander soortgelyke lande nie. Die kern kwessies wat gesondheidswerkers beinvloed is geidentifiseer en dit is duidelik dat onderhoudende en omvattende gesondheidsorg beplanning nie bloot die toepassing van ratios is nie, maar dat dit onderhewig is aan 'n groot verskeidenheid kritiese sukses faktore. Dit is van kritiese belang dat gesondheid menslike hulpbronne beplanning in SA daadwerklike aandag geniet. Die nalaat van hierdie verantwoordelikheid, sal lei tot 'n gesondheidsisteem wat nie in staat is om aan die behoeftes van die land te voldoen nie. 'n Gestruktureerde benadering is moontlik, maar verdien toewyding en beplanning.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/5536
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