Today's Labour News

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hpcsaSunday Tribune reports that hundreds of South African doctors who have studied medicine abroad fear that their degrees could be rendered worthless because of “unfair” regulations by the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA).  

The regulations state that returning doctors must complete an internship in the country in which they studied, before they sit for their HPCSA board exams.  However, medical students who studied in Cuba on state bursaries are not affected and are allowed to undergo their internships locally.  Apparently regulations kicked in this month, despite having been in existence since 2009 but not enforced.  The aggrieved doctors said it wasn’t possible to complete internships in the country of study 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, even on a voluntary basis.  HPCSA spokesperson Priscilla Sekhonyana said returning doctors had to have satisfactory duty internship certificates verified by the Education Commission of Foreign Medical Graduates and an original certificate of good standing from a regulatory body.  She said the rules had been the same since 2009.  A meeting is due to take place with the regulatory body on Monday about this matter.

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