04 June 2021 - NW1026
Chirwa, Ms NN to ask the Minister of Health
(a) What total number of recently graduated medical doctors (i) have been placed as medical interns as at 1 April 2021 and (ii) are still sitting at home, waiting to be placed and (b) what (i) has he found caused the delays in placing the recently graduated medical doctors and (ii) steps are being taken by his department to resolve the situation?
a) According to records on the Internship and Community Service Placement (ISCP) online System, 257 medical students were confirmed to have met the requirements to be allocated for medical internship as at end of April 2021 (i.e. 138 NMFC students who passed the Cuban National Exam; 26 passed the HPCSA Medical Board Exam; and 93 completed their blocks in local universities which made them eligible for medical internship posts, (i) 0 has been allocated on medical interns on 1 April 2021, as there are only two allocation cycle for medical internship, which are 1 January and 1 July of each year and (ii) 257 are still waiting for allocation and will be allocated during June to take up positions on 1 July 2021 and (b) (i) there was no delay as the applicants were not yet eligible for medical internship at the time (ii) the ICSP online System will opened applications from 14 May 2021. Only after the application process is closed, the actual application numbers will be confirmed as more students are becoming eligible (i.e. completing blocks).
b) Due to increased number of qualifying applicants for medical internship posts the Public health sector remains challenged by budget cuts to fund additional internship posts and to accredit excessive number of medical internship posts in health facilities as it requires additional resources (appointment of additional specialists and senior medical doctors).