oa African Journal of Health Professions Education - Going rural - protracted immersion or toe-wetting : does it matter? : guest editorial



Universal access to healthcare mandates that all people worldwide have access to comprehensive healthcare services, without suffering financial hardship. However, unless the severe shortages and inequitable distribution of healthcare workers, especially in many low- and middle-income countries, are addressed, universal access will, similar to 'Health for all by the year 2000', go down in history as a desirable but unattainable goal. The dearth of healthcare workers follows an 'inverse care law', with the direst shortages in areas of greatest need, mostly rural areas. In a bid to address the challenge in sub-Saharan Africa, many new medical schools with larger class sizes have sprung up in the past 20 - 30 years.


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