Working in South Africa as a Nigerian doctor can be fulfilling and rewarding. As a matter of fact, qualified medical doctors from Nigeria serve as medical practitioners in various teaching, private and public hospitals across South Africa. They are also actively involved through their union in medical outreach services to less fortunate members of the South African society. But how many Nigerian doctors are there in South Africa in 2018? Recently, there have been mixed reactions about the number of Nigerian doctors in South Africa and this blog post is written to demystify the reported facts.
What if I start by asking how often you change your mind about things you believe to be true? What if I told you that you and I don’t change our minds about facts we believe to be true, even after those facts are proven to be false?
Well, this was proven in studies by researchers at Stanford in 1975 and confirmed by thousands of other researchers. Still don’t believe it? Read the findings in the book “Denying to the Grave: Why We Ignore the Facts that Will Save Us”.
At this point, you are probably wondering ‘what does this have to do with Nigerian doctors in South Africa?’. Don’t worry, we’ll get to that shortly.
What are the dangers of sharing wrong figures?
The research proves that when someone forms a belief about something, they don’t usually change their mind about it. This human characteristic makes false statistics misleading. If we don’t change our minds about important facts, then isn’t it reckless for government officials and journalists to share news and or figures that are wrong?
Questioning fake news and fake statistics
Despite the dangers of sharing unproven claims and figures, many people still continue to spread false facts and figures. An example of this was documented in an article by Nigerians In South Africa, a news website dedicated to informing Nigerians living in South Africa. They confirmed from the Health Professional Council of South Africa (HPCSA) that in 2018, there were 680 doctors from Nigeria practicing in South Africa. The HPCSA is the regulatory body for all health professions in South Africa and equally keeps a register of all practicing professionals in the country.
Standing up against false figures
The Wrong Figure: There are 5000 Nigerian doctors in South Africa.
The Correct Figure: There are 680 registered Nigerian doctors in South Africa according to HPCSA (as at 2nd of July 2018).
Click here to read the article.