Over 800 health professionals scheduled to commence their duties next month

Published Jun 30, 2024


The National Health Department has allocated a total of 885 eligible health professionals in an effort to close the gap as the country battles with a shortage of healthcare professionals.

The health professionals, including medical doctors, nurses and pharmacists, have been placed as required by law to undergo medical internship and community services.

According to Sabinet Journal, the shortage of skilled health professionals in South Africa is projected to be 97 000 health workers by 2025 to address inequities across provinces, with Community Health Workers comprising around one-third of this number (RSA 2020c).

It has also been estimated that 88 000 Primary Health Care (PHC) workers will be needed by 2025 to expand public sector PHC utilisation to the benefits package defined in national policy.

The department over the weekend said it concluded a process of allocating eligible medical interns and community service applicants for 2024 mid-year cycle of Internship and Community Service Programme scheduled to commence in July.

The department said this is a short cycle meant to manage the placement of applicants who could not be allocated during the January 2024 annual cycle due to a number of reasons including eligibility as a result of pending academic results/incomplete modules to confirm that they met full requirements to complete the academic qualifications.

Spokesperson Foster Mohale said the department has concluded the allocation process and has been informing all successful applicants of their allocated provinces and health facilities where they are scheduled to commence their duties from July 17.

Mohale said provinces have commenced the process of contracting as part of human resource and it is anticipated that this will be concluded by the end of this month.

“The department has tried to place the applicants according to their areas and provinces, unfortunately it is impossible for everyone to be placed according to their preference due to limited posts in some areas,” said Mohale.

He said the allocation process was conducted in line with the relevant employment laws and guidelines which prescribe that priority should be given to qualifying South African citizens, followed by permanent residents and lastly foreign nationals who wished to pursue their career in South Africa.

Mohale said the system also recorded a moving target of Community Service Medical Doctors, Physiotherapists and Speech Therapists still to be allocated.

“The department is in consultation with provinces to convert or repurpose some of the posts that are in excess from other fields of studies to accommodate these applicants. This is meant to accommodate amongst others late applicants and those who applied to wrong professions. The department will keep them abreast of the developments,” said Mohale.

The Star

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