African countries are unlikely to reach target level of doctors for more than 30 years

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 17 February 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b682
  1. Roger Dobson
  1. 1Abergavenny

    It will take more than 30 years for some African countries to reach their recommended numbers of doctors on the basis of current training levels, according to new research.

    Even if attrition rates within their health organisations were limited to premature deaths and other involuntary losses, current workforce training means it would take 36 years for numbers of doctors, nurses, and midwives to reach the World Health Organization’s target of 2.28 professionals per 1000 population, according to a study based on 12 countries in sub-Saharan Africa (Bulletin of the World Health Organization; doi:10.2471/BLT.08.051599). And some of the countries, say the authors, will never reach it.

    “Our results suggest that the health workforce shortage in …

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