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SAMA calls for review of ICSP application portal process

According to SAMA’s timeline, interns and community service personnel completed their exams from April to the first week of May but the NDoH had not opened the ICSP portal until the evening of June 24 even though mid-year interns and community service people were expected to start on July 1.Image:File

According to SAMA’s timeline, interns and community service personnel completed their exams from April to the first week of May but the NDoH had not opened the ICSP portal until the evening of June 24 even though mid-year interns and community service people were expected to start on July 1.Image:File

Published Jul 4, 2022

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The SA Medical Association (SAMA) has called for a review of the Internship and Community Service Programme (ICSP) portal application process.

“The organisation recommends that the National Department of Health (NDOH) convenes stakeholder engagements with key role players, SAMA being one of them, to perform an in-depth review of how the ICSP application process has been undertaken over the years, identifying current shortfalls and coming up with recommendations of how the process can be enhanced,” SAMA chief executive Dr Vusumuzi Nhlapho said.

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The organisation said that with this process undertaken, other players could be tasked with running the portal and SAMA was willing to play a leading role in this process.

“This process should be done in line with applicable legislation and frameworks to ensure that doctors are not disadvantaged as is the current process,” SAMA said.

SAMA said that as it was, the process was not assisting doctors or organisations, such as SAMA, in ensuring that medics were safely and properly placed.

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According to SAMA’s timeline, interns and community service personnel completed their exams from April to the first week of May but the NDoH had not opened the ICSP portal until the evening of June 24 even though mid-year interns and community service people were expected to start on July 1.

The organisation said the delay in opening the portal impacted the interns and community service healthcare professions as it resulted in delay in logistical planning regarding transport, accommodation, safety check measures and their ability to lodge appeals and placement exchanges.

“Whilst the suggested process is being considered by the NDOH, SAMA also requires a response from the NDOH regarding the legal notice dated 24 June 2022, pertaining a written undertaking that SAMA members will not be prejudiced or disadvantaged as a result of the delayed opening of ICSP portal,” SAMA said.

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