Human resources for health: challenges facing sub-Saharan Africa
The number of nurses and doctors that have left sub-Saharan Africa and who consider emigration is worryingly high, given the imbalance of health workers between urban and under-resourced health facilities in the country. Despite several responses and initiatives by the South African government to reduce the number of health professional wanting to leave the country or to alleviate its negative effects, emigration still persists. Health professionals leave South Africa driven by a desire to escape negative and unfulfilling working and living conditions in South Africa and are attracted by the prospects of a better life abroad. In spite of the difficulty of gaining access into the developed nations such as the UK in terms of stringent policies around immigration, recruitment and employment of foreign health professional, South African health workers still emigrate to the UK. This chapter argues that despite advances, South Africa along with other African countries have to do more to improve working conditions, salaries and job satisfaction of health workers to encourage African doctors and nurses to remain in the country, as well as to bring back those health workers that have emigrated abroad.