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Brain Flight: The Exodus of Health Professionals from South Africa

Jonathan Crush (Southern African Migration Program (SAMP), Queen's University, Canada)
Wade Pendleton (SAMP, University of Cape Town, South Africa)

International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care

ISSN: 1747-9894

Article publication date: 31 December 2010

1767

Abstract

The paper presents the results and discusses the implications of a national survey of South African health professionals which found extraordinarily high levels of dissatisfaction with working and living conditions in the country. Emigration potential is very high, and retention strategies have been largely unsuccessful. The survey findings suggest that remedial efforts within South Africa will not slow the brain drain. This has serious negative repercussions for the quality and level of health care available to patients in the country. The only workable retention strategy is for Western countries to stop issuing immigration and work permits to South African health professionals, a policy that would be consistent with their attitude to most other South African workers. However, as long as health professional shortages continue in Western countries and their immigration policy remains divorced from their international development policy, this scenario seems unlikely.

Keywords

Citation

Crush, J. and Pendleton, W. (2010), "Brain Flight: The Exodus of Health Professionals from South Africa", International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 3-18. https://doi.org/10.5042/ijmhsc.2011.0059

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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