Officials meet again over funding issues for placement of intern doctors

The South African Medical Association said 133 of these positions had already been funded while the remaining 155 were being sorted out.

Picture: Pixabay.com

CAPE TOWN - National health bosses are again meeting on Tuesday to try sort out funding issues relating to the placement of intern doctors.

The medical doctors have graduated from university but need placement at public hospitals across the country to complete mandatory further practical training.

They've been left in limbo, with the health department citing funding issues for its failure to place them.

READ MORE: Health department promises unplaced intern doctors feedback this week

Two hundred and eighty-eight medical interns and community service doctors are anxiously waiting for an announcement on when they can start working as part of the intake programme.

The South African Medical Association said 133 of these positions had already been funded while the remaining 155 were being sorted out.

The qualified doctors pointed out that they had to start working from Thursday.

“Hospitals can tell us when they want us, usually they make it the Monday after the first of July, but for most of them, we have to be there by the first,” one doctor said.

“The timeline is completely ridiculous. One day’s notice to get to a job, we're all sitting at home, we're all anxious. I can't support my family, so my wife is having to support us completely with her salary,” another anxious doctor said.

Department officials said they valued the contribution interns made to the health sector, particularly at the time of the COVID 19 pandemic.

There will be feedback on the matter by latest Wednesday, following discussions with National Treasury.

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