Surgeon Salary in South Africa

Surgeons are significant members of the healthcare sector, using their specialized skills to diagnose and treat various health issues. Consequently, a crucial question arises: how much do surgeons make to justify their services? Understanding the financial aspect of the profession is necessary, and different factors shape the surgeon’s salary.

Monthly Salary Range:R 25500 – R 83333.3
Average Monthly Salary:R 54416.65
Description:Surgeons are medical professionals specializing in surgical procedures to treat or alleviate various medical conditions or injuries. They are responsible for assessing patients, diagnosing surgical conditions, recommending treatment options, and performing surgical procedures with precision.
Minimum Qualification:To become a specialist surgeon in South Africa, you must possess qualifications, such as a certificate (NSC or NC(v) with a Bachelor’s Degree Pass) and enroll in a Bachelor of Medicine program at a recognized institution. Following the completion of the Bachelor of Medicine program, individuals must pursue a Post-Graduate Degree (Master of Medicine: Surgery).

To help you understand the earning potential of the surgeons, I will walk you through their salary structure in South Africa, as well as their duties and responsibilities in the healthcare sector. Therefore, continue reading to discover the compensation structure of surgeons.

Overview of Surgeon Salary

Moreover, becoming a surgeon in South Africa is a long process and takes about ten years. The first six years are dedicated to studying Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. After that, four more years of advanced studies are required to get a Master of Medicine degree.

In addition to the time spent studying theoretical knowledge, the specialist surgeon also spent one year as a student intern and another year doing community service. To compensate for their services, surgeons in South Africa earn an average monthly income of R54,417.


Surgeons are given a bonus as an additional compensation in addition to their regular salary. The amount of bonuses can vary based on several factors, including the surgeon’s level of experience and the specific policies of the healthcare institution or private sector. The average bonus ranges from R5000 to R499,000.

Salary Structure

Throughout South Africa, the income of surgeons might vary due to regional differences, industry dynamics, variations in demand for specific surgical specialties, and the type of healthcare institution they are associated with. Therefore, the exact figure can vary, but the average amount is estimated to be R628,280 per year. Surgeon salaries according to their experience level are as follows:

Experience LevelSalaries
Entry-Level General SurgeonR51,000 Per Year
MedianR628,280 Per Year
Senior Level General SurgeonR1,000,000 Per Year

Responsibilities of Surgeons

Surgeons play a significant role in the healthcare system, and their duties are diverse and demanding. The specific duties may vary depending on the surgical specialty. Some of the key responsibilities of surgeons are as follows:

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Examine and Assess Patients

Surgeons conduct thorough medical assessments to identify any issues with the patient and check whether they need surgery. They also collect and review patients’ medical histories, perform physical examinations, and develop treatment plans according to the patient’s requirements.

Designing Treatment Plan and Supervise Postoperative Treatment

After diagnosing the patient’s condition, surgeons must create a comprehensive treatment, considering surgical and non-surgical options. They can also collaborate with other healthcare professionals to determine the most effective cost of action.

Moreover, they also oversee postoperative treatment, including monitoring patients’ recovery and managing pain. Additionally, they provide postoperative instructions, including follow-up appointments and rehabilitation plans.

Collaboration and Education

Surgeons collaborate with other health sector members, such as anesthesiologists, nurses, and other healthcare professionals, to ensure comprehensive patient care. Furthermore, they also educate patients and their family members about the potential risks, surgical procedures, and expected outcomes. They also offer guidance on postoperative care and lifestyle modifications.

They also manage and maintain detailed medical records and reports, including surgical notes and postoperative progress. Additionally, surgeons must follow the legal and ethical standards regarding patient confidentiality and the maintenance of accurate medical records.


How much money does a surgeon make in South Africa?

On average, a surgeon in South Africa earns an annual income of R628,280, with variations based on their position and experience. Typically, entry-level position surgeons earn a monthly income of R25,500, while expert surgeons earn around millions annually.

In conclusion, surgeons are professionals in the medical field responsible for carrying out surgical procedures. If you plan to become a surgeon in South Africa, you can expect to earn an average annual income of approximately R628,280.

Article Modified on October 28, 2023. The data in this article is written and collected by multiple authors. Learn how we research on About Us.