While the medical profession is regarded as one of the best and most lucrative professions in South Africa and the world, very few really know the answer to the question “how much do medical doctors earn in a month?”.
Many who aspire for the position believe that a medical doctor should earn nothing less than a six-figure salary (excluding other bonuses and incentives a doctor is entitled to).
However, this is only true if you are looking at the salary structure of medical doctors in other countries, especially in developed countries.
In South Africa, most doctors have continuously gone on strike while requesting for higher wages and better benefits. This makes one wonder if doctors aren’t been paid enough.
Well, if you are still wondering how much a medical doctor earns in South Africa, then you shouldn’t worry anymore because you will find the answer to your question in this article.
Average Doctors Salary in South Africa
Medicine is one of the most competitive and strenuous courses to study in the South Africa university. It is also very strict and sometimes, many students are not able to graduate as medical doctors when they are not able to meet the least requirements.
Medical doctors also have to spend more time in the university than any other professional. They also pay the highest fees and follow the strictest rules. After going through all these, it is expected that they earn a comfortable wage.
However, things are not always the way they seem, as most doctors who graduate with high hopes of an instant job and a fat paycheck are soon jolted back to reality and have to work in more than one medical institution just to make ends meet.
Generally, medical doctors in federal or state-owned government hospitals are relatively better paid than their counterparts in private hospitals. Not being able to gain employment in a government-owned hospital is one of the worst fears of an entry-level doctor because private hospitals tend to pay outrageous wages for their services due to their lack of experience in the field.
The salary structure of medical doctors is regulated by the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) and is graded from 1 to 7. For other health workers, their salary structure is regulated by the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) and is graded from 1 to 15. Both bodies have a general grading of salaries which starts form GL 1 and ends at GL 17.
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Salary Structure of Federal/State Medical Centres in South Africa
The salaries of medical doctors in government hospitals are determined by a number of factors which include the level of experience and the qualification a doctor possesses.
After the NYSC program, doctors are placed in positions that align with their areas of specialization. This is where the huge difference in salaries of medical doctors becomes evident. Some doctors tend to earn more than others just because of the area of specialization they identified with.
- Resident doctors salary in South Africa: R$ 4,810 – R$ 9,250
- Medical consultants salary in South Africa: R$ 18,500 – R$ 29,600
Salaries of Medical Doctors in Private Hospitals
The salaries of medical doctors in private hospitals are much lower than those of their counterparts in government and teaching hospitals. However, this will depend on the type of hospital and its location. Also, the area of specialization of the doctor comes into play and this will greatly influence the wage of the doctor.
Consultants (highly specialized doctors with a lot of experience) earn the highest in private hospitals.
- Private resident doctors salary: R$ 3,700 – R$ 7,400
- Private medical consultants salary in South Africa: R$ 14,800 – R$ 22,200
Housemanship Salary in South Africa
All doctors upon graduation from any South Africa university are subjected to a compulsory one-year service where they work as professional doctors in hospitals. This is similar to the internship program undergone by other fields of study. However, doctors are guaranteed payment during their service compared interns of other fields.
The amount a doctor can earn during this program varies and will depend on the hospital. The federal government owned hospitals tend to pay better than state-owned hospitals. Private hospitals are at the bottom of the table and pay the lowest.
The chances of a fresh medical graduate getting into a reputable hospital are limited due to the stiff competition in the field. These doctors are subjected to tests and only a lucky few will be given positions in the hospital.
On average, a doctor should expect to receive anything between R$ 3,700 – R$ 7,400 during the internship program.
Salary of NYSC Doctors in South Africa
National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is another compulsory one-year service that medical doctors have to undergo before they can be fully employed in any organization. However, doctors tend to earn less during this period with some doctors earning as low as R$ 1,850 per month. Other doctors are made to work for free with only their monthly stipend being paid by the government as compensation.
For most doctors, the best decision is to work in a private hospital as these hospitals tend to pay doctors during this period. Federal-owned and state-owned government hospitals, on the other hand, do not pay doctors during this period.
Although doctors in government-owned hospitals earn higher than those in private hospitals, it has become a norm for these public doctors to work shifts at private hospitals and clinics. Government-owned hospitals normally allow their doctors to close work at 4 pm and most of these doctors use this opportunity to work in private hospitals in a bid to increase their monthly wage.
While this might be beneficial to public doctors, it tends to play down on the importance of private doctors. It is already a fact that public doctors are highly regarded and treated better than private doctors. However, private doctors are also involved in this system and work shifts in other private hospitals.
As it seems, the monthly wage of a medical doctor is nowhere near enough, which is why many South Africa doctors are moving to developed countries in a bid to earn better wages.
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