- At least 100 Tunisian doctors are expected to work in South Africa's rural health facilities, the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) reveals.
"Council has already registered 100 practitioners from Tunisia and these are ready to serve in the various rural areas across South Africa," the council spokesperson Tendai Dhliwayo told 'SAPA'.
The doctors would have their documents processed as soon as they arrived from the foreign workforce management of the health department.
South Africa has been grappling with skills shortage in several sectors, including the health. The Tunisian doctors would help the government's struggles to make health accessible to its citizens.
"Not only is the initiative aimed at alleviating shortages in the rural areas, but also to share expertise with their local counterparts. In so doing, the rural areas that have always had shortages of health care practitioners will benefit greatly," said Dhliwayo.
The doctors will be deployed to health facilities that we in great need, health officials said.
South Africa is also benefiting from the services of Cuban and Iranian doctors.
Health authorities are working on strategies to recruit and retain health professional in the provinces.
South Africa's opposition Democratic Alliance has released its annual report, revealing a general vacancy rate of over 10% [40,594 posts] in the government.
Of the 204,039 highly skilled posts available, 12.9% [26,257] were vacant - 200 more than in 2006.
DA said with the exception of Safety sand Security, Correctional Services and Defence department, which account to 77% of all posts, the general vacancy rate jumps to 21.9% [18,865 posts] across the remaining 26 departments, while the highly skilled vacancy rate increases to 31.2% [13,645 posts].
“Quite clearly, then, the more specialised the position, the more government is struggling to acquire and retain the requisite skills,” said Karel Minnie, DA's Public Service and Administration Spokesperson.
The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development fared worst on highly-skilled vacancies, with 48% of posts - including judges, magistrates and prosecutors - empty.
The highest vacancy rates across all posts were in the departments of Sport and Recreation [45.9%], Transport [40.8%] and Communications [37.7%]
The report also cited a failing education system, poor management and bad administration.
DA expressed concerned over high skills deficit in the country and would therefore raise the issue in parliament. It wants to know what steps have been taken to rectify situation in the worst affected departments.
“There is a school of thought - one recently championed by the chairperson of the Commission for Employment Equity (CEE), Jimmy Manyi - that argues South Africa’s skills crisis is a myth and that (presumably thousands of) skilled black South Africans are being kept out of the economy because of racism," Minnie said.
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