Ismail made the comments amid media reports that more than 200 qualified doctors were still waiting for jobs.

Cape Town – The DA has called on the Department of Health to urgently come forward with a clear plan to address the chronic challenges preventing the efficient placement of community service doctors.

“We have been inundated with various concerns by many community service doctors and interns throughout the year. Many have not been placed, are awaiting placement or have been placed in locations where families need to be separated,” DA MP Haseena Ismail said.

Ismail made the comments amid media reports that more than 200 qualified doctors were still waiting for jobs.

She said the country was well into the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and therefore a health environment that was desperate for health workers.

Ismail said the government has used the lack of funds as an additional excuse for not absorbing qualified doctors into the system, yet the government has spent close to R1 billion on a 10-year-long agreement deploying Cuban health practitioners to South Africa.

This emerged in a written response by acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane to questions from the DA when it enquired about costs and employment of Cubans.

“Given the money spent on Cuban doctors, government cannot use this poor excuse. It also knew exactly how many and by when these doctors would have graduated.”

Ismail said the department should work closely with National Treasury to ensure timeous and proper implementation of funds.

“South African doctors are struggling to make ends meet or to be placed to assist in the fight against this pandemic.

“The department must prioritise the absorption of community service doctors and interns as soon as possible as they can play a crucial role in the fight against Covid,” Ismail said.

Editor@tech-talk.co.za 

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