Telkom has announced that its CEO and executive director Sipho Maseko will step down on 30 June 2022. The telecoms company said the process to appoint a successor is well underway and a designated group CEO will be announced in the not too distant future.
It is possible that cooking oil prevented more looting in South Africa in the last week than the president, the ANC, the intelligence community, the army and the police combined. This, without question, says something about the versatility of the product. It says even more about the state of the state. When you are shown up by canola, you might want to revisit your strategy.ByHoward Feldman
Performance Media across Search, Social and Programmatic platforms is the single fastest growing area of digital media in South Africa. Combine that with the detailed analysis of campaign management, tagging and ad operations, and it becomes apparent that these highly specialist functions require a highly specialised unit.
The Transnet Port Terminals website has been hacked, implying that all companies under Transnet have been affected. All Transnet websites were down at the time when reporting was done for this SA Trucker article. The publication cited sources who requested to remain anonymous because they are not allowed to speak to the media.
The Covid-19 pandemic has hit South Africa's small business sector hard and there are grim statistics to bear this out. Those statistics will not be repeated here. After all, if you are a small business owner setting out on the road to recovery, the last thing you probably want is more details of the toll the pandemic has taken on small enterprises. Far more useful would be some good, solid tips on how to build back better after any business setbacks.ByAmeen Hassen
Doctors preparing to perform an operation. Shutterstock
Doctors leave for a variety of reasons depending on where they are in their careers. For example, many leave immediately after graduation. They usually leave for one or two reasons. Firstly, to pursue international residency training. Most in this category usually don’t return to the country. They prefer to work where their newly acquired skills can be put to better use. The second reason is if they fail to find a job or space for residency training. Most in this category also never return home to practice.
There are usually another two sets of leavers: those who leave five to 10 years after graduation – usually for better pay. Finally, there are those who leave after specialist training, which can be up to 10 to 15 years after graduation. Specialists – the most qualified and competent doctors – leave because of better prospects in other countries.
The exodus has led to a drop in the quality of healthcare service due to the absence of skilled personnel.
Nigeria hasn’t been able to get on top of the problem because nothing has been tried. The government doesn’t seem to be concerned. Nigeria was the only African country listed among the 20 top exporters of physicians in 2004, with a loss of 5,499 doctors up from 1 519 in 1991.
Health indicators may continue to decline in the absence of aggressive interventions to stop this. More doctors leaving the country will eventually lead to a shortage of Nigerian medical doctors. This, in turn, will add to the stress and dissatisfaction among those remaining. The poor will not be able to access care while the rich will travel out of the country for medical care.
African politicians – including Nigerians – who have the responsibility of improving the country’s health system usually travel abroad for their medical needs. The usual destinations are Europe, North America and Asia. And ordinary citizens spend over $1bn annually on what’s become known as medical tourism.
Poor pay is a major factor for leaving, particularly for mid-career doctors who have families to support.
Apart from pay packages that are low, actual payment of salaries is often irregular. In some states, government workers’ salaries aren’t paid on time every month. Delayed salaries were reported in Plateau State and Kogi State among others. This is true for doctors too.
Another major driver is poor working conditions. This includes having to work extra hours due to inadequate staff, lack of diagnostic facilities or to supplement monthly income.
These problems spring from the Nigerian government’s low funding. In this year’s budget only 3.9% was allocated to health. This is much lower than the estimated 13.5% of South Africa’s national expenditure dedicated to health.
In 2001 African Union countries met and pledged to set a target of allocating at least 15% of their annual budget to improve the health sector and urged donor countries to scale up support. Ten years after that commitment was made only Mauritius, Seychelles and Eritrea had met the target.
The lack of funding has led to poor remuneration, the underfunding of hospitals which in turn means that medical facilities are inadequate and infrastructure is obsolete.
Other reasons for leaving relate more generally to a lack of infrastructure in the country which makes it difficult to ensure a good standard of living in a favourable environment that promises good future prospects for children. This includes the lack of social amenities such as a good health care system, quality education, roads, electricity and piped water.
What needs to be done
To reverse the brain drain, the Nigerian government should create a conducive environment that will ensure employment opportunities and reduce poverty. It must provide the needed infrastructure such as good roads and transport systems, affordable and functional education, water supply, security, stable energy in addition to good healthcare system.
On their own, these won’t be enough to prevent the brain drain among medical doctors – and other professionals. It would need to be supplemented by other strategies. These should include providing financial and other incentives to stay. Institutional capacity-building that promotes career development should be fostered, along with mentorship opportunities as well as efforts to improve working conditions.
A central human resource planning body should be instituted. This would ensure a continuous increase in the number of health care workers through careful coordination and prediction of number of medical graduates.
Enforcement of Bill of Patients’ Rights in Nigeria as well as National Health Insurance are due for consideration. Without policies that will lead to available and accessible healthcare for all the bill may not have its desired impact.
The Conversation Africa The Conversation Africa is an independent source of news and views from the academic and research community. Its aim is to promote better understanding of current affairs and complex issues, and allow for a better quality of public discourse and conversation. Go to: https://theconversation.com/africa
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