Provinces still uncertain on internships for medical students
Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal have yet to indicate how many interns they will be taking in
Almost 300 medical students will sit their final-year exams this week, not knowing where they will be doing their internships in 2018. Under the Health Professions Act, doctors must complete two years of internship training followed by a year of community service before they can qualify. It is the responsibility of provinces to set aside adequate funds to accommodate this. But the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal have yet to indicate how many interns they will be taking in. The problem was compounded by the fact that about 100 medical students from 2016 were placed only in September. In addition, about 800 students from Cuba will be seeking internships in 2018. But there have been delays in the allocation of posts, mainly due to the provinces pleading a lack of financial resources. In April, Department of Health director-general Precious Matsoso told Parliament that the healthcare system had an 11.5% deficit of posts. But the president of the Health Professions Council of SA,...