The national department of health has began the much-awaited allocation of medical graduates to provinces, for the junior doctors to begin their mandatory internship at public health facilities. File Photo: Ayanda Ndamane African news Agency (ANA)
The national department of health has began the much-awaited allocation of medical graduates to provinces, for the junior doctors to begin their mandatory internship at public health facilities. File Photo: Ayanda Ndamane African news Agency (ANA)

Relief as health department kick starts allocation of medical graduates

By Jonisayi Maromo Time of article published Jul 1, 2021

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Pretoria – As South Africa battles the third wave of the raging Covid-19 pandemic, healthcare workers battling the scourge are set to breathe a sigh of relief as the national Department of Health announces that it has begun the allocation of medical graduates to provinces, in batches.

Department of health spokesperson Popo Maja said provinces will proceed in turn take over the placement of eligible medical graduates into various facilities, for the junior doctors to kick off their mandatory internship and community service training programme (ICSP), for this year’s mid-year cycle.

“The consultation process with the National Treasury and provincial health departments is ongoing to source additional funding for 155 accredited posts, to ensure that all 288 medical graduates awaiting to undergo the programme during the second semester are placed,” said Maja.

“The department acknowledges the frustration expressed by the medical graduates, and appeals for patience, as some will not receive the confirmation for placement [on Thursday].

“The regular public updates and notifications with the affected students will be maintained as the consultation process unfolds to keep everyone abreast of the developments.”

Last month, Independent Media reported that more than 280 qualified medical interns were anxiously sitting at home unemployed, awaiting placement for their mandatory internship at public health facilities.

The batch of about 288 medical interns, who graduated between March and April, were waiting to be allocated placements from July 1.

Some of the medical interns, who spoke to Independent Media on condition of anonymity, said they applied for placements in April and expected to receive their allocations on June 11.

One intern said that she verified her information for placement with the department's internship community service programme in April and was expecting to be placed in June, but she had not heard anything.

“It has been a very difficult time for my family to have one more mouth to feed when they were expecting me to be working already,” she said.

African News Agency (ANA)

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