Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition)
Health regulations leave returning doctors in a bind
HUNDREDS of South African doctors who have studied medicine abroad fear their degrees could be rendered worthless because of “unfair” regulations by the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA).
say returning doctors must complete an internship in the country in which they studied before they sit for their HPCSA board exams.
The doctors said it was impossible to complete internships in some countries as they didn’t allow foreign graduates to intern because of work permit issues.
They said their only option was to return to South Africa and complete an internship here, but the Department of Health apparently would not accept this, not even on a voluntary basis.
The doctors, including students who are still studying abroad, have banded together on social media to air their frustrations. A meeting is scheduled with the regulatory body in Joburg tomorrow.
HPCSA spokesperson Priscilla Sekhonyana said returning doctors had to have satisfactory duty internship certificates verified by the Education Commission of Foreign Medical Graduates and a certificate of good standing from a regulatory body.
Department of Health spokesperson Popo Maja said doctors weren’t allowed to intern without the proper procedures. Nobody was allowed to “just intern for free”.