↓ Skip to main content

Health worker migration from South Africa: causes, consequences and policy responses

Overview of attention for article published in Human Resources for Health, December 2015
Altmetric Badge

About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (90th percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (79th percentile)

Mentioned by

policy
3 policy sources
twitter
8 tweeters

Citations

dimensions_citation
55 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
378 Mendeley
You are seeing a free-to-access but limited selection of the activity Altmetric has collected about this research output. Click here to find out more.
Title
Health worker migration from South Africa: causes, consequences and policy responses
Published in
Human Resources for Health, December 2015
DOI 10.1186/s12960-015-0093-4
Pubmed ID
Authors

Ronald Labonté, David Sanders, Thubelihle Mathole, Jonathan Crush, Abel Chikanda, Yoswa Dambisya, Vivien Runnels, Corinne Packer, Adrian MacKenzie, Gail Tomblin Murphy, Ivy Lynn Bourgeault

Abstract

This paper arises from a four-country study that sought to better understand the drivers of skilled health worker migration, its consequences, and the strategies countries have employed to mitigate negative impacts. The four countries-Jamaica, India, the Philippines, and South Africa-have historically been "sources" of skilled health workers (SHWs) migrating to other countries. This paper presents the findings from South Africa. The study began with a scoping review of the literature on health worker migration from South Africa, followed by empirical data collected from skilled health workers and stakeholders. Surveys were conducted with physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists. Interviews were conducted with key informants representing educators, regulators, national and local governments, private and public sector health facilities, recruitment agencies, and professional associations and councils. Survey data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and regression models. Interview data were analyzed thematically. There has been an overall decrease in out-migration of skilled health workers from South Africa since the early 2000s largely attributed to a reduced need for foreign-trained skilled health workers in destination countries, limitations on recruitment, and tighter migration rules. Low levels of worker satisfaction persist, although the Occupation Specific Dispensation (OSD) policy (2007), which increased wages for health workers, has been described as critical in retaining South African nurses. Return migration was reportedly a common occurrence. The consequences attributed to SHW migration are mixed, but shortages appear to have declined. Most promising initiatives are those designed to reinforce the South African health system and undertaken within South Africa itself. In the near past, South Africa's health worker shortages as a result of emigration were viewed as significant and harmful. Currently, domestic policies to improve health care and the health workforce including innovations such as new skilled health worker cadres and OSD policies appear to have served to decrease SHW shortages to some extent. Decreased global demand for health workers and indications that South African SHWs primarily use migratory routes for professional development suggest that health worker shortages as a result of permanent migration no longer pertains to South Africa.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 8 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 378 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Indonesia 1 <1%
United States 1 <1%
Unknown 376 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 86 23%
Researcher 36 10%
Student > Ph. D. Student 33 9%
Student > Bachelor 31 8%
Lecturer 28 7%
Other 83 22%
Unknown 81 21%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 80 21%
Nursing and Health Professions 78 21%
Social Sciences 38 10%
Business, Management and Accounting 20 5%
Unspecified 9 2%
Other 54 14%
Unknown 99 26%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 14. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 31 July 2022.
All research outputs
#2,158,103
of 23,001,641 outputs
Outputs from Human Resources for Health
#246
of 1,147 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#38,197
of 388,633 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Human Resources for Health
#5
of 24 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 23,001,641 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 90th percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,147 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 12.1. This one has done well, scoring higher than 78% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 388,633 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 90% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 24 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 79% of its contemporaries.