Health Minister must explain non-placement of interns and community service applicants

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Michele Clarke MP

The DA notes the Department of Health’s statement that 9 395 of the 10 386 applicants were placed in the Internship and Community Service Programme (ICSP). We are however very worried about the 991 unplaced applicants.

The DA will write to the Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, in order to gain urgent clarity on why these applicants weren’t placed, when they can be expected to be placed, and how they are being supported. It is ridiculous that nearly 1 000 future medical professionals are unable to complete their internships and community service years without any explanation.

Every year the DA is inundated with worried students and interns being left in the lurch and unable to continue with their training, and this year is no different. We’ve received complaints from doctors, nurses, and physiotherapists who are all extremely worried that they have received no placements, nor any communication in this regard from the Department of Health.

Given the ANC government’s relentless irrational push for the National Health Insurance (NHI), one would assume that the training and capacitation of the health sector would be a primary concern. Yet every year, the Department leaves countless students and interns who spent years studying to become medical professionals in the lurch.

This latest travesty once again proves that the NHI Bill is nothing more than cheap electioneering – or in this case dear electioneering and the cost will be the destruction of both the private and public health sectors.

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