‘They prefer not to accept employment‚’ says health minister of unplaced doctors
\n Katharine Child | 2017-01-19 12:50:33.0\n \n \n \n \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n \n\n \n\n\n \n \n
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\n \n \n \n Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi. File Photo \n \n \n \n
Image by: THULI DLAMINI \n \n \n \n
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\n Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said it is not true that there are intern and community doctors who do not have posts‚ but claimed they have declined the jobs offered to them.\n
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Doctors and other health workers have to do compulsory internships to complete their training and community service before they are allowed to work elsewhere.
“It is not true they are unemployed. They prefer not to accept employment. There is a difference between placed where you prefer to be and being placed where the needs are‚” said Motsoaledi.
The Junior Doctors Association of SA and the Pharmaceutical Association of SA had told the media they had lists of about 130 unplaced doctors and at least 78 pharmacists who are being prevented from working elsewhere until they have completed community service.
The minister said all doctors wanted to work in or near major cities and didn’t like to work in rural areas.
He said the “so-called” lists of unplaced doctors provided by the union were mostly foreign doctors who trained locally but hadn’t been offered jobs. This was partly because countries such as Lesotho and Swaziland wanted their doctors to return home
He said that of the doctors 1499 who have applied for internships needed to complete their medical training‚ only one doctor was not offered a place.
He said 22 interns placed in jobs declined to accept them.
The reasons they gave for declining a placement ranged from not being able to move due to marriage‚ medical issues‚ children or “owning an expensive property in a certain area”.
“Despite trying very hard‚ the department is not always in a position to accommodate these varying issues.”
In response to the Pharmaceutical Society of SA’s list of more than 70 pharmacists who were not placed in community service‚ he said offers had been made to them in the past week.
Motsoaledi said some had been offered jobs at private pharmacies doing work for the government by dispensing medicine to state patients.
However‚ the society has complained that placing pharmacists in private pharmacies defeated the purpose of community service‚ which is to work in “underserved and rural areas”.
It added that while every year there were difficulties placing people‚ this year had been far worse and forced people into unemployment. – TMG Digital/The Times
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