A total of 2 369 medical interns have joined the health workforce this year, while a further 41 who have studied abroad are being allocated across the country, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Friday.
Calling it the “biggest medical intern allocation programme in history”, he said more than 650 graduates from the Nelson Mandela Fidel Castro Cuba medical programme would also soon begin their reintegration programmes in preparation for their qualifications to practice in SA.
For the 2020 year cycle, 678 of the interns have been allocated to Gauteng, 545 to KwaZulu-Natal and 322 to the Western Cape.
According to Mkhize, human resources was the “first pillar of the Presidential Health Compact”.
“Its premier position amongst the nine pillars highlights the significance government places on strengthening and sustaining human resources for the healthcare sector. Without doctors, there is no healthcare system,” he said in a statement.
“Having met some of these bright young colleagues, I am always left inspired by their passion, enthusiasm and willingness to contribute not only to the fight against Covid-19 but also to the attainment of universal health coverage.”
According to the most recent statistics released on Thursday, SA has a cumulative total of 599 940 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 3 880 new cases identified.
Gauteng accounts for 33.8% of infections, KwaZulu-Natal for 18% and the Western Cape 17.3%.
As of Thursday, a further 195 people have died, increasing the number of Covid-19 fatalities to 12 618.