South African doctors in Nanaimo

Nanaimo, BC, CanadaHow in the world did 20 or more South African doctors end up living and working near Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada?  How did they even hear about this part of the world?  Nanaimo is a small community of less than 100,000 people, 16,500 km (10,250 miles) away.

Debbie and daughter Chrystal both work at Nanaimo General Hospital.  As unit clerks, they have a lot of interaction with many doctors.  On our tour we visited the Hluhluwe Game Reserve in Zululand.  The land for the reserve was donated by the family of one South African doctor who now finds his home in Nanaimo.

There are 2 reasons for the outmigration of medical expertise.  One is that government management of the South African health care system makes working conditions intolerable.  The other is that doctors are moving their families out of the country to improve personal safety.

Still, Nanaimo?  If there are more than 20 doctors in this area, how many more are spread across the world?  It’s a South African medical profession diaspora.