SA’s largest umbrella body for doctors in private practice says the recent measures suggesting the government consider regulating where they work could drive scarce skills overseas. The Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF) is an industry body representing medical schemes and administrators. On Friday it published research highlighting the uneven geographical distribution of healthcare professionals working in private practice, and recommended the health department revisit regulations requiring doctors to obtain a “certificate of need” or ministerial approval prior to practising. These regulations were set aside by the Constitutional Court in 2015. The SA Private Practitioners Forum’s CEO Chris Archer said if the government tried to compel doctors in private practice to work in underserviced areas, it would in all likelihood prompt people to emigrate. It would be far better to devise incentives to encourage people to work in such regions, he said.

Archer said that government inter...

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