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The Health Department pushed back on a recent report suggesting budget cuts could leave some 200 newly graduated doctors unable to complete their community service requirements next year.
In a statement on Monday, health officials said that as of December 12th, placements have been secured across all health professions deemed essential, including positions for all qualifying medical interns.
Earlier this month, the department announced it had placed over 9,300 recent graduates from various medical fields in community service roles at facilities nationwide. This was the culmination of a lengthy application and placement process.
“The department would like to assure all unplaced graduates, who meet the minimum requirements, that all efforts are being made to have them allocated posts, and they will be kept abreast of developments,” the statement said.
The department acknowledged a shortfall still exists in finding posts for some graduated dentists, dietitians, physiotherapists and environmental health practitioners. But it stressed officials are working urgently to address those needs in time for the 2024 intake cycle.
So while small gaps remain, it appears fears of mass placement issues resulting from budget tightening were overblown. The country’s newest doctors won’t be left hanging thanks to a funding commitment aimed at buoying South Africa’s overburdened healthcare system.