19 February 2018

Namibia: Dentistry Graduates in Limbo Over Internship

Windhoek — The majority of the 24 dentistry graduates from universities in Russia, Ukraine, China and Belarus are unhappy that they cannot put their skills to good use because not all of them have been accommodated in an internship programme.

The graduates can only specialise further and get full-time jobs upon completion of the one-year internship programme. However, the odds have been against them since arriving in Namibia last July.

"Upon our arrival in Namibia we approached the Medical and Dental Council of Namibia for internship registration. We were informed that we will have to undergo a pre-internship evaluation but no date was set for us. The only date available was for medical graduates, which we felt was unfair," one of the students told New Era on Friday.

The students said they wrote a letter to the health minister, Dr Bernard Haufiku, on Friday to seek an audience with him on their woes.

They felt it was unfair because they had no idea when they would be evaluated, thereby compromising their preparation. "The Health Professions Council of Namibia was inconsistent with examination dates," say the graduates.

Regardless, all graduates passed the examination. However, despite passing the examination all could not be placed in state health facilities to practise as there was no space for all of the group.

As of April, only ten of them will be placed as that is the only number that state facilities can accommodate for now, explained the graduates.

The graduates feel that the dentistry internship programme was established without a solid plan.

Amongst others, the students are advocating that a set of examination dates for pre-evaluation be availed on the Health Professions Council's website and for foreign dentists to train interns because there are not enough Namibian dentists to oversee the dental internship programme.

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