healthcareNews24 reports that Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says the demand for health services in SA is increasing and funds to address the change are limited mainly due to the continuous rise of immigration and the increasing burden of disease.  

He made the remarks in response to a parliamentary question as to the reasons for the shortage of doctors and nurses in state hospitals.  In his response, Mkhize said:  "The primary reasons why the Republic [of South Africa] has a shortage of doctors and nurses is the fact that the public health sector budget has not been increasing in real terms for the past 10 years, impacting on the number of staff that can be appointed.  Furthermore, the demand for health services in the country is increasing while there is no additional funding to address the change, which results primarily from immigration and the increasing burden of disease.”  He added that the shortage of health professionals was a global phenomenon and was more pronounced in low- and middle-income countries.  City Press previously reported that Mkhize's predecessor, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, claimed foreign nationals were overcrowding the local health system.  But, according to the UCL-Lancet Commission on Migration and Health, immigrants were, contrary to popular belief, not a huge burden on health care.


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