Not all government clinics have doctors on their teams but the skills and knowledge of a medical doctor in such settings were absolutely critical to managing patients in more complex cases, a recent study in KwaZulu-Natal has found, MedicalBrief reports.

Their data, researchers said, support the benefit of a doctor working at every single primary healthcare clinic (PHC) clinic: in fact, the doctor is a “must-have” member of the clinic team, “offering a regular, reliable and predictable medical service” – and not just a “nice to have”.

The main pillars of strength at these PHC clinics are the full-time, dedicated, and hard-working operational managers and PHC professional nurse clinicians (PNs). Yet doctors form only a part of these teams, although they offer a decentralised medical service for patients with more complex clinical conditions.

There are currently two sources of doctors for the clinics – outreach doctors and National Health Insurance (NHI) doctors. However, there are no directly funded medical posts at the PHC clinics in KZN…..more