A mass exodus of healthcare specialists has left South Africa in crisis and many experts are wondering how to treat the millions of people who need specialist care. Since the beginning of 2008, 110 anaesthetists have left the country (40 in just one month), meaning that only 800 are still operating in South Africa.

The Paramedic Association of South Africa has similar numbers to share: While the country needs around 2000 paramedics with a skilled level of expertise, there are in fact only 500.In some hospitals in South Africa, the shortage of nurses exceeds 60%, and the number of people qualifying to be nurses is decreasing with every passing year.

Specialized healthcare workers usually move overseas after completing their education, as they are paid considerably more than what they’d earn in South Africa, and enjoy much better conditions as well.

A medical specialist in a South African state hospital earns around R30,000 a month and will need to work 240 hours. The same job in Australia earns the doctor R82,000 a month as a starting salary.

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