Student doctors should work at State health facilities before practicing in private sector: LDA

WINDHOEK: Student doctors should work at State health facilities before they start practicing in the private sector to curb the shortages of doctors in the public sector.

This was the view of the Managing Director of Learn Develop Achieve (LDA) Consulting Namibia, Len Deacon when he made his presentation on the effect of human resources’ constraints on the provision of healthcare. Speaking at the eighth Namibian Association of Medical Aid Funds’ (NAMAF) conference on Tuesday, he said Namibia currently does not require newly-qualified doctors to practice in rural areas.

He, therefore, suggested that student doctors should be sent out to such areas.

Urban areas are well-represented when it comes to doctors, compared to rural areas.

Deacon said in many low-resource settings (such as Namibia, South Africa and elsewhere in the southern African region), healthcare personnel shortages occur mainly with doctors, and often with nurses.

In many cases, doctors are trained at universities which are funded by Governments, and even if doctors are trained at private institutions, those institutions also get some form of funding from Government.

He said these people should first be delegated to rural areas, and thereafter they can practice where they want.