Abundance of posts for doctors, says Motsoaledi
THERE are more than 100 posts for medical doctors in the public sector, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said yesterday.
This is despite reports of numerous health practitioners who have completed internships and community service still seeking jobs. “This category (doctors past their community service phase) has caused a lot of confusion in the media and the public. There is misconception that the state has a statutory obligation to them, like interns and community service,” Motsoaledi told reporters in Pretoria.
He said after completing community service, doctors have various options. They can return to university to specialise, venture into private practice or enter the private health industry, for example, working for medical aid schemes and pharmaceutical companies. Others leave the country.
“When they do all these, they have no obligation to inform the Department of Health, so (the department) has no way of knowing them or their numbers. However, if they wish to remain in the public sector, we have at least 147 posts available for them.
“So the 135 doctors quoted in the media who are said to be without jobs may contact us because we don’t know them. We can advise them of the available posts. It is up to them to choose from among these, but they can’t claim to be unemployed.”
Motsoaledi said since the beginning of the year, his department has been inundated with media queries about doctors and pharmacists who could not get employment in the public service because the government allegedly failed to place them in posts, or failed to create the posts.
He said the other category of practitioners singled out in the media reports comprised doctors who had just graduated. They are required to do a statutory internship for two years.
“There are still 45 positions of internships available.” He said 22 South African interns placed in jobs had declined the posts.
Motsoaledi said some of the names on the list of “unemployed” doctors compiled by the Junior Doctors Association of SA were duplicated and included the junior doctors who had turned down placements.