Foreign Doctors in Gauteng Public Hospitals
There has been a sharp increase in foreign doctors working in Gauteng public hospitals and clinics, rising from 261 last year (4%) to 750 this year (12%) out of 6270 doctors employed in total.
This is revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.
Mahlangu says that all their qualifications are checked through the SA Qualifications Authority, they have to register with the Health Professions Council of South Africa, and the validity of their work permits and immigration/refugee status is done quarterly.
Future plans are to ensure that foreign doctors “are utilized within the district services where the need is.”
Cuban Doctors at Bheki Mlangeni Hospital
I am concerned by the poor expertise and language skills of some of these foreign doctors.
For instance, there are four Cuban doctors at the Bheki Mlangeni Hospital in Soweto who can barely speak English, write poor scripts and are accused by other staff of endangering patients.
Meanwhile, I am aware of locally trained doctors who can’t get jobs in Gauteng hospitals.
Preference should be given to our local doctors who are generally well-trained and knowledgeable about the local disease profile.
There should also be better monitoring of the performance of foreign doctors to ensure that they provide a quality service to patients.
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health
082 333 4222