More professionals want to emigrate
CRIME, the proposed National Health Insurance, and a shortage of mathematics and science graduates in South Africa are pushing more graduate professionals to consider emigration.
The quarterly PPS Graduate Professionals’ Confidence Index, which tracks confidence levels of about 6 000 graduate professionals, found the number of professionals who are confident of remaining in the country dropped from 84% to 78%.
“While a confidence level of 78% is still very positive, it is concerning this figure has declined,” PPS head of group marketing and stakeholder relations, Gerhard Joubert, said yesterday.
“Graduate professionals such as doctors, lawyers and accountants are a crucial segment of the economy and like many other countries we already face a major skills shortage in these professions.
“It is crucial the concerns of this segment are taken into account to ensure we do not lose further scarce skills.”
He said more dentists were considering emigrating because they were “finding it tough (working in SA) and were not getting a slice of the pie”.
The South African Dental Association last year said several dentists were struggling to keep practising because during tough economic times, dentistry was low on the list of essential needs.
The survey found professionals were concerned about the NHI so much so confidence in the future of healthcare in the country dropped 5% to 45%.
Eighty-four percent of professionals believe the proposed NHI is not the solution to the country’s ailing health system.
Joubert said professionals were concerned the NHI Green Paper did not provide sufficient detail on the proposal.
“Many graduate professionals support the principle of improving the healthcare system for all South Africans to ensure better healthcare for all citizens but are concerned over the way it is being implemented.
“Further consultation on the issue is vital to ensure all stakeholders buy into the process.”
The web-based survey also found a whopping 94% of respondents were troubled by the lack of mathematics and science graduates in the country.
“Many of our skills shortages are in professions that require a mathematics or science degree so it is critical we address the reasons for fewer people opting to study these subjects, as fewer graduates in these fields now will lead us to an even greater skills shortage in the future,” Joubert said.
Only 42% of the respondents were confident employment would improve over the next five years.
Joubert said there may be other reasons for the loss of confidence, however the survey did not include the option of adding more concerns to its questionnaire.
He said it also did not ask professionals where they planned to emigrate to or if any of the respondents had already set the ball in motion to relocate.