Unemployment, debts weigh on intern doctors while waiting for govt to place them

More than 280 healthcare workers were still sitting at home waiting to complete their training.

Picture: 123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - Qualified intern doctors are anxiously waiting to be placed so that they complete their medical training.

More than 280 healthcare workers were still sitting at home waiting to complete their training.

Medical doctors have to complete a compulsory two-year internship and one year of community service. One doctor said that after six grueling years of studying, not being able to work was stressful.

“I personally have a lot of study loans that I took out to become a doctor that I am struggling to pay back. I have to make arrangements with them so that I pay them back as soon as I start working, but I don't know when that is,” said the young doctor.

Waiting for placement to complete her mandatory community service year, another doctor said that government’s allocation system needed to be reviewed.

“I’ve been unemployed for almost two months now. At the end of June, it will be my second month. They said they're going to inform us regarding cases by the 11th of June. They haven't,” she said.

The South African Medical Association’s Dr Angelique Coetzee said that funding was a problem while the Health Department said that officials would meet on Thursday to discuss the issue.

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