Uganda is left with fewer than 5000 doctors and no strategic plan to retain them

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 04 January 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e25
  1. Henry Wasswa
  1. 1Kampala

Uganda is experiencing a massive shortage of doctors and now has fewer than 5000 to treat a population of 35 million, because thousands have left the country in search of better pay.

The east African nation lost hundreds of doctors during the chaotic 1970s and 1980s; but although the political situation is now calmer, the exodus continues, though now for reasons of poor pay rather than fears about personal safety. Thousands of doctors are now working in North America, Europe, Australia, and South Africa, where they can earn salaries several times higher than at home.

Of the 5000 doctors left, 40% work in …

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