Average Obstetrician Salary in South Africa (2024)

The average Obstetrician Salary in South Africa is R88,600 per month. An entry-level Obstetrician earns a salary range of R51,000, a Mid-career level earns about R91,200, and a senior/experienced level earns R122,000 per month.

Average Obstetrician Salary in South Africa

Job Title Approximate Monthly Salary (ZAR)
Entry-Level Obstetrician 51,000
Mid-Career Obstetrician 91,200
Experienced Obstetrician 122,000

Types of Obstetricians and Their Functions in South Africa

In South Africa, obstetricians play a crucial role in women’s reproductive health, providing specialized care during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. There are several types of obstetricians, each with specific functions tailored to different aspects of maternal and fetal health.

1. Obstetricians/Gynaecologists (OB/GYNs)

OB/GYNs are medical doctors who specialize in both obstetrics and gynaecology. They provide comprehensive care to women, including prenatal care, delivery, and postpartum care. They also address a wide range of gynaecological issues. In South Africa, many women receive their primary obstetric care from OB/GYNs.

2. Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialists

Maternal-fetal medicine specialists focus on managing high-risk pregnancies. They have expertise in dealing with complications that may arise during pregnancy, such as diabetes, hypertension, or multiple pregnancies. These specialists collaborate closely with OB/GYNs to ensure the best possible outcomes for both mother and baby.

3. Midwives

While not strictly obstetricians, midwives play a crucial role in maternal care. They are often involved in providing prenatal education, supporting natural childbirth, and assisting with postpartum care. In South Africa, midwives are integral to the healthcare system, especially in rural areas where access to specialized obstetric care may be limited.

4. Obstetric Anaesthetists

Obstetric anaesthetists specialize in providing pain relief during labour and delivery. They play a vital role in administering epidurals or other anaesthesia methods, ensuring that women can manage pain effectively during childbirth. Their expertise is critical in emergencies or when interventions such as cesarean sections are necessary.

5. Reproductive Endocrinologists

Reproductive endocrinologists focus on issues related to fertility and hormonal disorders affecting reproductive health. While their primary role may not be obstetrics, they often work closely with couples trying to conceive and may provide guidance and interventions to support successful pregnancies.

6. Obstetric Ultrasonographers

These professionals specialize in performing ultrasound examinations during pregnancy. They play a vital role in monitoring fetal development, identifying any abnormalities, and providing valuable information for obstetricians to make informed decisions regarding the management of pregnancy.

In South Africa, the collaboration and coordination among these different types of obstetric professionals contribute to a comprehensive and effective maternal healthcare system. Access to obstetric care may vary across regions, with urban areas typically having more specialized services compared to rural settings. Nonetheless, the diverse expertise within the obstetric field aims to ensure the well-being of both mothers and infants throughout the entire continuum of pregnancy and childbirth.

Factors Affecting Obstetricians’ Salaries in South Africa

Obstetricians play a crucial role in women’s health, specializing in pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum care. In South Africa, various factors contribute to the salaries of obstetricians, reflecting the complex interplay of economic, social, and healthcare dynamics. Here’s a detailed exploration of the key factors influencing obstetricians’ salaries in South Africa:

1. Experience and Expertise

Obstetricians with extensive experience and specialized expertise often command higher salaries. Years of practice and a track record of successful outcomes contribute to their market value.

2. Geographical Location

Salaries can vary significantly based on the location of the obstetrician’s practice. Urban areas and regions with higher demand for obstetric services generally offer higher salaries to attract and retain skilled professionals.

3. Healthcare Infrastructure

The state of healthcare infrastructure in a particular region influences obstetricians’ salaries. Areas with well-equipped hospitals, advanced technology, and better resources may provide higher compensation packages.

4. Public vs. Private Practice

Obstetricians working in the private sector often earn higher salaries compared to those in the public sector. Private practitioners may have a more extensive patient base and can set their fee structures.

5. Patient Demographics

The socioeconomic status of the patient population served by an obstetrician can impact earnings. Obstetricians dealing with a higher proportion of patients with private health insurance or the ability to pay out-of-pocket may experience increased income.

6. Demand and Supply

The overall demand for obstetric services in a region influences salaries. Areas with a shortage of obstetricians may offer more competitive compensation to attract and retain qualified professionals.

7. Education and Training

Obstetricians with additional certifications, advanced degrees, or specialized training may command higher salaries. Continuous education and staying updated with the latest medical advancements can contribute to professional value.

8. Government Policies and Regulations

National and provincial healthcare policies and regulations can impact salaries. Changes in reimbursement rates, licensing requirements, and healthcare legislation may affect obstetricians’ earnings.

9. Malpractice Insurance Costs

Obstetricians often face high malpractice insurance premiums, which can vary based on location and individual risk factors. These insurance costs may influence overall income.

10. Workload and Hours

The number of hours worked and the overall workload can affect earnings. Obstetricians handling a higher volume of patients or participating in on-call duties may receive additional compensation.

11. Professional Reputation

A positive professional reputation and patient satisfaction can contribute to a successful obstetrician’s earning potential. Word-of-mouth referrals and a strong referral network may lead to increased patient numbers.

How to Become an Obstetrician in South Africa

Becoming an obstetrician in South Africa involves a comprehensive educational and professional journey. Here’s a detailed guide on the steps to pursue this career path:

Educational Requirements

1. High School Education:

Begin by excelling in high school with a focus on science subjects such as biology and chemistry. Aim for high grades to gain admission to a reputable university.

2. Bachelor’s Degree:

Pursue a bachelor’s degree in medicine or a related field. Common choices include a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) program.

Medical School

3. Medical School Admission:

Apply to a recognized medical school in South Africa. Admission is competitive, and academic performance, as well as extracurricular activities, may be considered.

4. Medical Degree (MBChB):

Complete the medical degree, which typically takes six years. The program covers a broad range of medical disciplines.

Internship and Community Service

5. Internship:

After obtaining the medical degree, undertake a two-year internship at an accredited medical facility. This provides practical experience in various medical disciplines.

6. Community Service:

Follow the internship with a year of compulsory community service in a public health institution, serving in an underserved community.

Specialization in Obstetrics and Gynaecology

7. Specialization Training:

Apply for a residency program in obstetrics and gynaecology. This specialized training usually takes four to six years, providing in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience.

8. Examinations:

Clear relevant examinations during your residency. These may be both theoretical and practical assessments to ensure competency in obstetrics.

Professional Registration

9. Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA):

Register with the Health Professions Council of South Africa, the regulatory body overseeing healthcare professionals.

Additional Considerations

10. Continuing Professional Development:

– Stay updated with advancements in obstetrics through continuous education and professional development.

11. Networking:

– Build professional connections within the obstetrics and gynaecology community. Attend conferences and workshops to stay connected with the latest research and practices.

12. Ethical Practice:

– Adhere to ethical standards and guidelines set by professional bodies, ensuring patient safety and quality care.



The average Obstetrician Salary in South Africa is R88,600. Understanding the multifaceted nature of obstetricians’ salaries in South Africa requires considering these interconnected factors. The landscape is dynamic, and staying informed about industry trends and adapting to evolving healthcare dynamics is crucial for both practitioners and policymakers.

Becoming an obstetrician in South Africa demands dedication, a strong academic foundation, and practical experience. The journey involves several years of education, training, and commitment to providing quality healthcare to women during pregnancy and childbirth. Stay informed, connected, and focused on your goal throughout the rigorous process.