Health Dept denies pharmacy community service posts shortage claims

Department of Health director general, Precious Motsoso, says it is untrue that government does not have enough community service posts to place new pharmacy graduates.

Motsoso says only Limpopo province is lagging, but all other provinces have provided community service.

Limpopo, and why I am so upset is because they have a list of pharmacists that are supposed to do their internships and community pharmacies. I spoke to Mr Philip Kruger yesterday and he said they don't have money.

Precious Motsoso, Department of Health director general

I said that cannot be because that is in contradiction with UN.

Precious Motsoso, Department of Health director general

I'm going to be working with Limpopo. They have to get the money. The provincial treasury needs to find the money.

Precious Motsoso, Department of Health director general

Pharmaceutical Society president, Sarel Malan, says there are a number of qualified pharmacists who cannot practice due to lack of government community service posts.

According to Malan, graduates need to do a one-year community service provided by the Department of Health in order to qualify for practice.

Towards the end of last year it became clear that there won't be sufficient positions for pharmacists to do the year of community.

Sarel Malan, Pharmaceutical Society president

Previous placing for 2016, at the end of 2015, there were lot pharmacists not placed, but the problem was solved and everyone was placed.

Sarel Malan, Pharmaceutical Society president

He says the community service positions have been very helpful in providing pharmaceutical services in the public sector.

They are playing a community role in providing pharmaceutical services especially in rural and under-served areas. They have been very helpful for the Department of Health.

Sarel Malan, Pharmaceutical Society president

The question is the management of the system and how do you handle those people when you don't have positions.

Sarel Malan, Pharmaceutical Society president

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