Medical interns left jobless as health departments funds dry up

The South African Medical Association (Sama) says while the National Department of Health has worked hard in resolving issues around the appointment of medical interns, money needs to be allocated to support this.

A number of graduates who had applied to be placed in 2016 have still not been placed because there is no funding.

On Wednesday the Business Day reported funding for medical intern posts has left many medical graduates without jobs, and that the situation could worsen when about 1000 graduates return from studying in Cuba.

Sama's Dr. Mark Sonderup explains.

Ultimately they are dependent upon the provinces to actually fund those posts, so the posts exist on the system but they need to have money allocated to them and money to be funded.

Dr. Mark Sonderup, Vice-Chairman at SA Medical Association

It comes down to this disparity between the constitutional prerogative of provinces that have full competence over aspects such as health and the funding thereof and the fact that our provinces are running out of money.

Dr. Mark Sonderup, Vice-Chairman at SA Medical Association

What we have raised is that we are not seeing a potential plan in place for the growing numbers of graduates that are going to be entering the system.

Dr. Mark Sonderup, Vice-Chairman at SA Medical Association

Sonderup says while the national department is not responsible for the allocation of funding for interns, a solution needs to be found.

There are problems, we need to start looking at what the solutions are going to be because we have done the right thing as a country, we have started to increase production but if we can't employ these folk then we have actually done nobody any favors.

Dr. Mark Sonderup, Vice-Chairman at SA Medical Association

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