Older public sector doctors are leaving to practice privately but are not staying too long, instead opting out of medicine entirely before the age of 50, according to research by the  Board of Healthcare Funders of SA.

The latest research is based on the distribution of ealthcare professional providers (HPPs) registered on the practice code numbering system (PCNS) during the period between January 2000 to December last year. The report focused specifically on professionals registered on the PCNS in the past 17 years.

For a healthcare provider to claim from a medical scheme they need to be registered on the PCNS. The report says the study noted an increasing number of healthcare professionals registering on the PCNS, from 36,000 in 2000 to 54,800 last year, representing a 52% increase. Medical aid scheme beneficiaries also increased from 7m in 2000 to 8.9m last year, representing a 27% increase. “This has greatly increased the proportion of HPPs per patient in the private sector. In the fee-for-service environment, this brings challenges of supplier-induced demand as providers compete for patients,” the study noted. …..more

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