DENOSA’s response to Deputy Minister of Health on the shortage of health professionals in SA

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) notes the statement in the media attributed to the Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, that reports of a shortage of nurses and doctors in South Africa are simply untrue.

DENOSA further notes that the deputy minister at least acknowledged two things: that there is a minimal shortage of doctors and nurses if one looks at the full picture in the country conclusively between private and public sectors; and that majority of health professionals are concentrated in the private sector which cares for no more than 16% of the country’s population.

The Deputy Minister is further quoted as saying that once the National Health Insurance (NHI) is implemented, nurses and doctors from both private and public sectors will be integrated to serve all South Africans.

In this matter, DENOSA would like to raise one clear point: that the public healthcare in the country currently is grossly understaffed and that few health workers in the system are unfairly overstretched.

It is only when looking in the future that there may be no shortage when health professionals from both private and public sectors are integrated and fairly distributed when NHI is implemented.

But for now, the majority population which is reliant in the public healthcare is exposed to poor service as a result of the gross shortage.


Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA)

For more information, contact:

Cassim Lekhoathi, DENOSA Acting General Secretary

Mobile: 082 328 9671

Simon Hlungwani, DENOSA President:

Mobile: 082 328 9635