Angry overseas-trained medics in ‘go back to class’ jab

South African students who study medicine abroad will have to go back to university on their return home after graduating. Since 1 July, a new policy by the National Department of Health compels all foreign-trained doctors to complete a one-year bridging course at a local university, writes Nabeelah Shaikh for the Sunday Tribune.

While some have accepted the policy, many foreign-trained students and returning graduates, are disgruntled. They claimed that no proper consultation process took place and that the policy was “up in the air”. Health department representative Gavin Steel said the reason for the policy guidelines was that at some foreign universities, especially in China and Mauritius, students did not receive sufficient practical training. Steel also said graduates were not exposed to diseases such as HIV/Aids and tuberculosis at foreign universities, while they were prevalent in South Africa.

Health Professions Council of South Africa spokesperson Fezile Sifunda said there were 1,570 foreign-qualified South African medical practitioners registered with the council. Annie Tooray of Pravda and Knowles Attorneys, who is acting for some foreign-trained graduates, said the guidelines lacked a consultative nature and would be challenged.
Full report on the IOL site