Reconceptualising Health Professions Education in South Africa
Consensus Study Report
This consensus study was initiated by ASSAf as a response to the ongoing challenge of shortages of healthcare professionals. The study was conceptualised following an ASSAf workshop on the Lancet report titled Health professionals for a new century: transforming education to strengthen health systems in an interdependent world. The study aims to address the full value chain in health sciences education from student selection, through pedagogical developments, unpacking of the current bottlenecks in the system and looking at how the future health sciences education system can be financed and regulated. Objectives of the study are to provide evidence-based information and recommendations to policymakers and relevant stakeholders on how health professional education might be transformed to improve the health of the nation. This includes the various professions in health. Some of the key findings of the study include: barriers in student section; inadequate production and retention of skilled health professionals; urban-rural maldistribution of graduates; core competencies’ challenges; internship and community-service obligations and transition; and shortcomings in financing of health sciences education. Recommendations on how to address the challenges are very practical. It is envisaged that policymakers and relevant stakeholders will implement these for the revitalisation of health professions education in order to improve health of South Africans.