Today's Big Stories

Foreign doctors could be deployed if student protests continue

The crisis in higher education is now in its third week with students across South Africa standing in solidarity to demand free education.

A report in Business Day suggests that if fees protests continue, hospitals could lose about 1,600 doctors, that's if graduations don't take place.

Dr Mzukisi Grootboom, chairman of the South African Medical Association says these young doctors ease the work load and fill the gaps in hospitals where there's shortage of doctors.

He says if government doesn't resolve the problem soon enough this will have negative impact on hospitals who need the services of these young doctors.

I want to appeal to the student leaders that you need to engage, you need to sit down with the authorities and talk.

Dr Mzukisi Grootboom, chairman of the South African Medical Association

Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi says South Africa has a long history of shortage of doctors and if the situation in universities is not resolved, government will have to deploy doctors from neighbouring countries who are currently being trained in the country.

He says the department supports medical students financially to ensure that when they graduate there will be fed into the system to close gaps.

Government has never had a situation where new doctors were not able to join the system.

Listen to the full conversation below:

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