Medical schools focused on reducing the country's health skills scarcity are not producing enough professionals, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said on Tuesday.
"Government is... very concerned about the throughput rate, to the extent that we have met with the deans of scarce skills faculties," he said at a meeting with the SA Medical Association (Sama).
Nzimande said graduate output targets in the human health scarce skills field would not be met by 2014.
He said the departments of higher education and health also needed to work together to help improve the numbers.
"In our discussions with the deans, we have further highlighted the need to develop a comprehensive programme of tutoring and mentoring first year students as one of the ways of dealing with the low graduate throughput rate in the scarce skills areas," Nzimande said.
At the meeting, Sama said it was concerned that the output of black doctors was not proportionate to the number of first year black students.
The failure rate among black students also tended to be particularly high, the association said.
Nzimande said a high level technical team was also working on a plan to establish a new tertiary institution to replace the Medical University of SA (Medunsa).