The Health Department has recruited close to 2 400 medical interns, as the country grapples with mounting COVID-19 cases and a struggling health system.
This move is the biggest intern allocation programme in history, according to the department.
The department said the 2 369 locally recruited interns will be joined by 41 peers, who studied abroad and have passed their exams.
The team will be placed in the public healthcare system across the country this year.
Meanwhile, the country will also soon welcome over 650 graduates from the Nelson Mandela Fidel Castro Cuba Medical Programme, who will begin their reintegration projects in preparation for their qualifications to practice in South Africa.
Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, said human resources for health is 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 health care sector. Without doctors, there is no health care system,” he said.
Gauteng will be allocated 698 medical interns, KwaZulu-Natal 550, Western Cape 322, Eastern Cape 216, North West 148, Limpopo 144, Free State 105, Mpumalanga 91 and Northern Cape 42.
The South African Military Health Service will welcome 19 trainees.
Mkhize said he was extremely proud of the department’s achievement to ensure that the South African medical fraternity continues to grow.
“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.”
As of Thursday, the country’s COVID-19 death toll had increased to 12 618, while 599 940 people had been infected with the virus since the outbreak.