South Africa’s Invisible Specialists

Proposed health reforms are moving South Africa toward universal health coverage, but these plans are largely steered toward clinical services. Still, the Public Health Medicine (PHM) specialty remains popular among South African physicians, who tend to pursue the 4-year training out of a commitment to population health and a determination to mend a struggling system, found research into specialists’ motivations. 

Physicians who worked in poorly resourced settings gravitate to PHM out of a determination to improve, rather than exit, a struggling health system—all the more reason to refine this largely invisible role as the South African health system shifts, the study found.

Global Health Action via Taylor & Francis

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