GPs working in the National Health Insurance’s biggest pilot site say they won’t stay because of drug stock-outs, staff shortages and long queues. Fewer than one out of three general practitioners contracted by one of the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme’s pilot sites believe that the scheme will have a “discernible impact” on giving “previously underserved communities” better access to healthcare, according to a study published in the South African Medical Journal in November. Researchers interviewed 55 of the 75 GPs who worked at one of 17 clinics in the NHI’s biggest pilot district, Tshwane, between April and June last year. Many of the doctors said they wouldn’t be staying on “for a long time” because drug stock-outs, staff shortages and the “pressure of long queues” had reduced them to nothing more than “glorified nurses”. ….more

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