Different types of doctors in South Africa and their salaries 2022

Different types of doctors in South Africa and their salaries 2022

How many types of doctors are there in South Africa? Most people know that there are different doctors but are not sure who does what. Here is a complete list and explanation to help you understand the different types of doctors in South Africa.

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Different types of doctors in South Africa and their salaries 2022
Portrait of Multi-Ethnic medical professionals in protective face masks during COVID-19 outbreak. Photo: Morsa Images
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How much does a medical doctor make in South Africa? When faced with a health issue, it is always recommended that you visit a specialist who is trained in handling the specific health problem. Here is a breakdown of the types of doctors and salaries in South Africa 2022.

Different types of doctors in South Africa and their salaries 2022

How many types of doctors are there in South Africa? There are two main categories of doctors; primary care and specialty care. These main types of doctors are listed and further broken down based on their area of specialization and level of training.

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Primary care doctors

A primary care physician treats minor illnesses, answers all health-related queries, carries out health checkups, and does common health tests such as checking for blood sugar levels and cholesterol. After collecting all your medical records, they may refer you to a specialty doctor.

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1. Family medicine doctors- 67,200 ZAR

Also known as family practice physicians, family medicine doctors treat people of all ages. They train on almost all aspects of medicine to treat both children and grown-ups and emphasize health maintenance and disease prevention.

2. Internal medicine physician-106,000 ZAR

While they perform similar tasks as a family medicine doctor, internal medicine physicians focus only on adults. They train in both general medicine and subspecialties.

3. Pediatricians- 73,800 ZAR- 74,600 ZAR

types of doctors in South Africa
Smiling pediatrician showing digital tablet to mother and baby in an exam room. Photo: The Good Brigade
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These are experts that concentrate on treating newborn babies to young adults. They train in childhood vaccines, well-baby and well-child visits, disease prevention, illnesses, injuries for children and babies, and school or sports physicals.

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4. Geriatric medicine doctors- 63,200 ZAR

Geriatricians strictly take care of older adults. They are internal medicine or family medicine physicians with additional training in preventive care, diagnosis and treatment of illnesses for older adults, and the ageing process.

Specialty care physicians

Specialty doctors train in specific medical fields to treat complex health issues that primary care physicians do not. They include:

1. Gynecologists/ Obstetrician (OB/GYNs)-89,700 ZAR

The OB/GYNs offer preventive care and disease management for female health issues such as infertility, pregnancy, labor and delivery, breast care, female reproductive health, cancer prevention and diagnosis of female reproductive organs, and menopause.

2. Immunologist/ allergists- 62,200 ZAR

These are specialty physicians that concentrate on preventing and treating allergic health issues such as asthma and other types of allergies. After obtaining a medical degree, these experts complete extra years in their specific line of work, in addition to pediatrics.

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3. Cardiologists- Physician cardiologists,125,000 ZAR, invasive cardiologists131,000 ZAR.

Types of doctors in South Africa and their salaries 2022
Doctor using stethoscope listening to senior patient breathing at her house - using a face mask. Photo: FG Trade
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Cardiologists concentrate on the cardiovascular system, i.e., heart and blood vessels, therefore treating cardiovascular issues like high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke, high cholesterol, congestive heart failure, and heart rhythm issues.

These experts also train in internal medicine. While they can perform numerous tests and procedures, cardiologists do not perform heart surgery.

4. Dermatologists- 100,000 ZAR

Dermatologists concentrate on illnesses and conditions that affect the nails, skin, and hair like acne, eczema, skin cancer, and psoriasis. They can perform some in-office procedures such as mole or spot removal and aesthetic procedures like chemical peels, Botox injections, and dermal fillers.

5. Infectious disease doctors- 86,700 ZAR

These experts focus on contagious diseases and conditions such as influenza, cellulitis, infections after surgery or hospital care, HIV, TB, pneumonia, and bacterial infections. These specialists also train in internal medicine.

5. Urologists- 108,000 ZAR - 109,000 ZAR

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Urologists treat urinary tract conditions in males and females and concentrate on male reproductive health, with some focusing on particular areas within their field, such as male infertility or female urology.

Other special care physicians, their area of specialization, and some of their salaries include:

  • Ophthalmologists- eye and vision care. They make around 71,200 ZAR.
  • Endocrinologists- endocrine system disorders and conditions including hormone-related conditions like infertility, diabetes, and growth problems in children. They make roughly 96,600 ZAR.
  • Gastroenterologists- digestive system i.e. esophagus, pancreas, stomach, liver, small intestine, colon, and gallbladder. Their salary is roughly 91,300 ZAR.
  • Nephrologists- kidney care and conditions. They make about 104,000 ZAR.
  • Pulmonologists- organs involved with breathing such as lungs and heart. Physician Pulmonary Medicine makes around 58,400 ZAR.
  • Otolaryngologists- They are ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctors. They make about 57,900 ZAR.
  • Neurologists- nerves, spine, and brain. They make approximately 98,500 ZAR.
  • Psychiatrists- treat mental health conditions using counseling, medication, or hospitalization. They make approximately 84,400 ZAR.
  • Oncologists- treat cancer and its symptoms. A physician in hematology / Oncology earns about 88,600 ZAR.
  • Radiologists- diagnoses and treats conditions using medical imaging tests such as reading and interpret scans such as X-rays, MRIs, mammograms, ultrasound, and CT scans. They make between 95,900 ZAR and 96,000 ZAR.
  • Rheumatologists- diagnoses and treats rheumatic diseases that affect the bones, joints, and muscles. They make approximately 84,800 ZAR.
  • Anesthesiologists- Concentrate on a person’s well-being before, during, and after surgery. Physician anesthesiologists make about 117,000 ZAR.

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types of doctors in South Africa
Surgeons working in operating room. Photo: Morsa Images
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  • Orthopedic surgeons- Focuses on diseases and conditions of the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints.
  • Cardiac surgeons- perform heart surgery.
  • General surgeons- perform surgical procedures.
  • Dentists: They specialize in the mouth, examining the health status of the gums and teeth.

According to talent.com the average medical doctor salary in South Africa is R 600 000 per year or R 308 per hour. Entry-level positions begin at R 472 500 per year, while most experienced doctors, among the highest paid doctors in South Africa, make up to R 1 308 000 per year.

Salaryexplorer states that, on average, SA physicians make around 73,200 ZAR per month (average of between 26,900-124,000 ZAR). A general medical practitioner makes 61,400 ZAR.

Who is the best doctor in South Africa?

Every expert presents themselves as the best. However, the best doctor is the one who excelled in academics, is licensed to practice, and is experienced in his or her line work, among other qualities.

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What kind of doctors are needed in South Africa? Currently, SA needs almost all types of medical experts. Therefore, if you are convinced that you want to be a doctor, and have what it takes, do not hesitate to make inquiries at your preferred institution and enroll.

Which type of doctor is best? With this knowledge of different types of doctors in South Africa, you now know why a primary care physician will either treat you or refer you to a specialist if necessary. Therefore, the best type of doctor will depend on your condition.

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