AfricaCheck recently published data that estimates there is only one government-employed doctor for every 2,457 people who are not covered by medical aid. This ratio jumps to 571 patients per doctor who practices privately.
There’s a shortage of doctors, and Medical Brief reports that up to 17% of newly qualified doctors may emigrate, and says that even private doctors in South Africa see more patients than is average on a global scale.
Escalated violent crime, the increase of HIV/Aids, TB, the high mortality rate among under 5-year-olds, pregnancy deaths, diabetes, heart disease, psychiatric illness, and the rapid spread of COVID-19 do not help matters.
One possible solution?
Locums who have experience with other Practices, may bring fresh ideas that can spark new life and ways of doing things into your Practice.
Encourage Locums to provide input and feedback to make the most of this benefit.
Who knows, they may be able to solve your longest-standing problems!
Locums provide the opportunity for Medical Practices to test them as a staff member before committing to a more permanent position and without any labour relations risk.
It’s easy to hire based on skill, but fairly difficult to find people who are the right cultural fit for your business. Locums afford a wonderful opportunity to check how they deal with patients, other team members and how they deal with issues and challenges in the workplace.
Hiring a Locum can lessen the load on other team members and as a result, increase morale because staff will know that you care about their workload.
Locums are ideal during fluctuating seasonal demands when the practice gets busy but the cost of a full-time doctor is not justified.
Locums are also there when you need your Easter, Christmas or New Years holiday break!
When your business grows, it means an increase in staff, but in the beginning, it does not require an additional full-time resource. You may find that the practice is busier, but not to the point where you should employ someone full-time.
A Locum grants the ability to take on more patients and increase revenue, while only paying for the additional hours needed.
The shortage of doctors means most GPs are overworked and stressed out, as a result, often making mistakes due to exhaustion.
In a Mayo Clinic Proceedings poll, more than 10% of doctors admitted to committing at least one significant medical mistake in the three months prior to the survey.
The SA Journal of Psychiatry published a study in 2012 which showed that the majority of doctors saw between 30 to 50 patients a day. Out of the 67 doctors who participated in the study, 51% were found to be stressed and 27% morbidly stressed.
Locums allow the wheels of your Practice to keep spinning while you take a break in order to prevent burnout.
For Practices that have a doctor that plans to retire, a Locum can remove the pressure of attending to patients, giving the retiring doctor time to recruit a full-time doctor to take over.
There are many cases where a temporary fill-in is required, and a Locum is an ideal solution.
Get in touch today on 021 201 7390 to find out how LocumBase can support you.