Health professionals in South Africa have a mandatory year of community service in a Public Hospital of the Department of Health. Community service is a means to boost the national health service as well as create equity in access to health services by placing new graduates in district and rural posts. It was hoped that by broadening the experience of graduates in this way they would be more likely to remain in public service, especially in the areas of greatest need.
At the moment community service posts are funded separately to a hospital's usual human resources, so there is no automatic entry into public service post community service year resulting in many community service people leaving a hospital that they would like to continue working in.
Community service posts are advertised annually, usually about July. From 2016 this was moved to an online system run by the National Department of Health Directorate for Workforce Management, under the cluster Human Resources for Heath Planning, Management and Development.
To find out more follow these links:
South African Internship and Community Service Programme to register for community service