The Junior Doctors’ Association of South Africa (JUDASA) has expressed concern about the Health Department’s bungling of hundreds of graduates’ placements in public health facilities.

Last month, the department said over 9700 health professionals were allocated community service and internship positions – of which over 1400 were community service medical practitioners.

JUDASA secretary-general, Malose Marakalala, says although the plight of graduates is being highlighted, the public is also being deprived of qualified healthcare practitioners.

“The challenge is, with the doctors who have qualified within the country but they are not SA citizens and those South Africans who have qualified abroad. Those are the two main areas where we do not find them to be placed in various institutions for their training due to what the department sometimes terms a lack of funded posts and a lack of accredited facilities. There are those who are mainly affected who are more senior than that – community service doctors who have qualified and don’t have posts. They were only able to work for three years and after that they are no longer employed.”