Funding negotiations under way as medical interns await placement
The 288 junior doctors due to begin their two-year internship are set to receive an update from the government this week.
Acknowledging the delays in announcing the allocations for the 2021 midyear cycle, the health department said in a statement this was due to consultations with the National Treasury and provincial health departments “regarding additional posts and a funding shortfall to cover some of the accredited and unfunded internship posts”.
Department spokesperson Popo Maja said: “The department values the contribution the medical interns will make to the health system, especially during this difficult time of the Covid-19 third wave.”
An update will be provided by “latest” on Wednesday on the outcomes of the consultations, he added.
The placements are scheduled to start the next day, Thursday July 1.
The junior doctors are all fully qualified, but unemployed and unable to work in the health sector without completing a mandatory internship at a public health facility in the country, allocated to them by the Department of Health.
Sunday Times Daily reported recently that only 135 of the available positions are funded.
No internships had been advertised in Gauteng, the publication said. Provincial health spokesperson Kwara Kekana said interns are posted by the national department of health according to available budgets and Gauteng has a particularly limited budget.