Health sets record straight on placement of medical interns, community service graduates 

Health sets record straight on placement of medical interns, community service graduates 

South Africa – The Department of Health says it has noted an inaccurate article, with a misleading headline, by News24 about the placement of medical interns and community service doctors .

According to the article, National Treasury budget cuts could affect community service placements for nearly 200 health workers .

“Recent cuts to South Africa’s provincial budgets are making less money available to pay for health science graduates, who need to do their community service .

These positions are often crucial to the healthcare needs of poor and underserved communities,” the article read .

The publication went further to say that nearly 200 graduates from the medicine, dental and rehabilitation therapy fields, who need to do community service before they can be fully-fledged doctors, had not been placed by 12 December .

However, the department, working with provincial Departments of Health, said it has ensured that all health professionals that are essential to delivering health services are all allocated in positions as of 12 December 2023 for the 2024 intake .

“The shortfalls in other areas of need, excluding medical interns and most categories of community service, are being addressed as a matter of urgency,” the department stressed .

These, according to the department, include eight dentist posts, eight dietitian posts, 38 physiotherapist posts, and 118 environmental health practitioners .

“The department would like to assure all unplaced graduates, who meet the minimum requirements, that all efforts are being made to have them allocated posts, and they will be kept abreast of the developments .

The department announced on 5 December that it had concluded the process of placing medical interns and community service applicants on the Internship and Community Service Programme (ICSP), due to commence next year .

The department said all successful applicants have been notified accordingly .

According to the department, it received 10 386 applications through an online application system, of which 10 228 were South African citizens, including permanent residents and 158 were foreign nationals .

The department at the time said 9 395 applicants have since been placed, including medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health professionals at health facilities throughout the country .


World News

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