Sipho Mabena
Premium Journalist
3 minute read
27 Nov 2020
5:00 am

Mboweni’s bitter pill for graduate doctors

Sipho Mabena

While big money is splashed out by government to bail out ailing state-owned enterprises – including SA Airways – there are no funds available to place graduate doctors for their compulsory community service.

Picture for illustration. Dr Eric Goemare (R), and Nompumelelo Mantangana, a doctor and nurse with Doctors Without Borders (MSF), look at the progress being made in setting up a field hospital being set up in a sports hall in Khayelitsha, near Cape Town, on May 22, 2020. (Photo by RODGER BOSCH / AFP)

As Finance Minister Tito Mboweni happily dishes out hundreds of millions of rands to keep poorly managed and corrupt state-owned enterprises in the green – the latest being R10 billion for SA Airways (SAA) – government has been accused of scuppering its intervention to improve access to health care. There have been reports of more than 150 graduate doctors in limbo due to the health department’s alleged lack of funding for community service placement. Kalvin Maharaj, a student doctor representing KwaZulu-Natal, confirmed yesterday there were about 55 doctors waiting for placement in his group. “Our lawyers have scheduled a meeting...