South African Medical Association

Media Release | DoH doing well, but more needs to be done on placements – SAMA

DoH doing well, but more needs to be done on placements – SAMA

The South African Medical Association (SAMA) remains concerned about the lack of placements for some Intern and Community Service doctors for 2021, and has urged the Department of Health (DoH) to seek ways of rectifying the situation for those doctors not yet placed.

To date, 2199 Intern Doctors from a total eligible allotment of 2357 have been placed (88% of which have been allocated to their top five choices), and 1528 out of an eligible 1705 Community Service Doctors have been allocated placements.

“We are encouraged by the large numbers of doctors who have been placed so far, but more than 325 doctors have not yet been allocated spaces which is concerning. These young doctors have trained for many years to get where they are now, and to not have placements for them is worrying,” says Dr Angelique Coetzee, Chairperson of SAMA.

She says while the unallocated doctors are a problem, the DoH must be commended for placing 93 percent of Intern Doctors, and almost 90 percent of Community Service Doctors. But, she says, the remaining placements must be resolved quickly.

“The DoH has done a good job so far with placements, which we acknowledge. But we cannot allow a situation where the other doctors aren’t placed. In a country where medical skills are in short supply, these doctors offer much-needed professional services and they should be accommodated. It seems inappropriate to have a large need, with a ready supply to meet that need, but to then not utilise it,” she comments.

Dr Coetzee says SAMA will continue engaging with the DoH with a view to resolving the placement of the remaining doctors as soon as possible to ensure every doctor has allocation going into 2021.


Notes to Editors

About SAMA
The South African Medical Association was formally constituted on 21 May 1998 as a unification of a variety of doctors’ groups that had represented a diversity of interests. SAMA is a non-statutory, professional association for public, and private sector medical practitioners. SAMA is a voluntary membership association, existing to serve the best interests and needs of its members in any and all healthcare related matters.

Head of PR & Communications
Dr Simonia Magardie
082 905 8505

Spokesperson 1
Chairperson: SAMA
Dr A Coetzee
082 379 8118

Spokesperson 2
Vice-Chairperson: SAMA
Dr M Mzukwa
076 382 8152