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12.06.2018 | Original Scientific Report | Ausgabe 12/2018

World Journal of Surgery 12/2018

Orthopaedic Surgeon Density in South Africa

Zeitschrift:
World Journal of Surgery > Ausgabe 12/2018
Autoren:
A. J. Dell, S. Gray, R. Fraser, M. Held, R. Dunn

Abstract

Background

In the era of global surgery, there are limited data regarding the available surgical workforce in South Africa.

Methods

This aim of this study was to determine the orthopaedic surgeon density in South Africa. This involved a quantitative descriptive analysis of all registered specialist orthopaedic surgeons in South Africa, using data collected from various professional societal national databases.

Results

The results showed 1.63 orthopaedic surgeons per 100,000 population. The vast majority were male (95%) with under two-thirds (65%) being under the age of 55 years. The majority of the orthopaedic surgeons were found in Gauteng, followed by the Western Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal. The majority of specialists reportedly worked either full time or part time in the private sector (95%), and the orthopaedic surgeon density per uninsured population (0.36) was far below that of the private sector (8.3).

Conclusion

Interprovincial differences as well as intersectoral differences were marked indicating geographic and socio-economic maldistribution of orthopaedic surgeons. This parallels previous studies which looked at other surgical sub-disciplines in South Africa. Addressing this maldistribution requires concerted efforts to expand public sector specialist posts as well as quantifying the burden of orthopaedic disease in both private and public sectors before recommendations can be made regarding workforce allocation in the future.

Level of evidence

IV

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