Ricochet News

Boost for public health in Eastern Cape, over 1 200 practitioners enter community service

Jan 8, 2019
Boost for public health in Eastern Cape, over 1 200 practitioners enter community service

Patients at public health facilities in the Eastern Cape are set to benefit from the annual placement of newly-qualified health professionals into internship and community service posts in the Eastern Cape Province.

"This includes community service doctors, medical interns, community service dentists, pharmacists, nurses and Allied Community Service and brings a total of 1 243 personnel to be placed at public health facilities for a period of three years (two years medical internship and one-year community service)," said Eastern Cape Health MEC, Helen Sauls-August.

She said that public facilities with high volume turn out and high burden of various types of diseases are receiving high number of community service doctors from the current intake.

“The Eastern Province has high volumes facilities with a high burden disease. These are the type of facilities that been prioritised for the current community service intake," Sauls-August added.

"Medical officers have been placed in areas where there is high volumes of patients, certain types of diseases, child mortality, and obstetrics challenges in rural districts such as Alfred Nzo, Amathole and OR Tambo districts.”

She saoid that all categories, except nursing start this month.

"Nursing community service will commence next month."

Categories of medical interns and doctors 

Medical Interns: These are Doctors who have just completed or are due to complete their medical studies this year. They will enter the workforce as the level of a two-year internship on 1st January 2019.

Community Service Doctors: These are Doctors who have just completed their two-year Internship and have to enter a one-year Community Service.

Community Service Dentists: These are Dentists who have just completed or are due to complete their Dentistry studies this year. Dentists do not do internship; they go straight from University into Community Service.

Community Service Professional Nurses: These are Nurses who have completed or are due to complete their nursing studies at universities or colleges of nursing this year. They enter the service at the level of Community Service.

Community Service Pharmacists: These are Pharmacists who have just completed their one-year internship and have to enter the service as Community Service Pharmacists.

Allied Health or other categories of Community Service: These are Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Radiotherapists, Speech Therapists, Audiologists, Environmental Health Practitioners, Radiographers, etc, who have completed or are due to complete their University studies this year.

Medical interns and doctors breakdown

  • Medical Interns:179
  • Community Service Doctors: 130
  • Community Service Dentists:18
  • Community Service Pharmacists: 76
  • Community Service Nurses:654
  • Allied Community Service:186
  • Total:1 243

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