After months of delay, reports News24, the SA Department of Health has apparently concluded allocating the final batch of medical graduates for in-service training. A total of 288 qualified medical interns, who graduated in March and April, have been awaiting placement for a mandatory internship at public health facilities.
According to News24, department spokesperson Popo Maja said they have already been notified of allocated applicants in their respective provinces, and it was expected they would start with the contractual appointments shortly.
“The department also appreciates and [gives] thanks to the graduates for their patience and cooperation during these trying times. We thank the National Treasury and provincial departments of health for the progressive consultation, which resulted in identifying the source of funding to see the conclusion of this challenge,” he added.
The SA Medical Association (SAMA) chairperson Angelique Coetzee said they received information that 155 medical interns had been placed and would have to get their appointment letters.
“SAMA will push for the appointment letters to be released as soon as possible by the various provinces. These 155 must have a fully employed contract on Monday (this week). We understand these were strenuous times, and we pushed hard for these interns to get them placed.”
News24 previously reported the department was served with a letter of demand last Thursday, giving it until Monday to provide community service placements.
The letter, sent by Mabuza Attorneys, was on behalf of 465 doctors. Of those, 298 were qualified medical doctors; six of whom were foreign nationals, and 292, South African. The second group was made up of 167 community service doctors.
Attorney Matthew Yeko, who spearheaded the litigation, told News24 they had not heard from the department.
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