MBABANE: The government of the Kingdom of eSwatini has denied about 20 Swazi doctors an opportunity to do internships as medical practitioners within the government hospitals as the health system continue to collapse.
The group of doctors told this Swaziland News this week that they were now worried about their future after government rejected their internship applications saying the country does not have money to compensate them while they do practical work as part of their studies.
Responding to questions from this publication on the subject matter, Dr Vusi Magagula, the Director of Health Services in the Ministry of Health said the reason they refused to allow these doctors to do internships was that they were reported to Parliament after they failed to pay those whom they previously engaged.
“We don’t want a situation where they would ask to work for free and later take the legal route saying government was not paying them, in the past we experienced such challenges” he said.
But in the midst of these challenges, it alleged that those who trained from Taiwan are given special treatment by the government unlike those who did their medical studies from Cuba, Mainland China and Russia among others.
One of the doctors who spoke to this publication on condition of anonymity said they were now worried about their competency as their profession requires constant practice.
“Now it looks like our parents were not telling us the truth when they say education is the key to success because in our country, political connection is the key not education. Staying at home for such a long time is really a painful experience” said the doctor.
But Dr Vusi Magagula refuted the sentiments suggesting that most doctors gain the opportunity to do internships in the local hospitals through political connections. He confirmed that the country was facing shortage of doctors but consistently maintained that it was a legal risk to allow the current aggrieved team to do internship as government does not have money to pay them.
“Maybe we can consider engaging them once the team currently doing internships finish, I would be glad to meet with them so we can discuss this matter” he said.
Director of Health Dr Vusi Magagula