Namibia: Foreign Medical Graduates to Be Re-Evaluated

Foreign-trained medical graduates who were found to have been subjected to difficult evaluations last year in November can have a chance for re-evaluation in September this year.

The registrar of the Health Professions Council of Namibia (HPCNA), Cornelius Weyulu, invited foreign-trained medical graduates to write the pre-internship examination in a notice issued on 8 August, including the 204 who failed the evaluation last year.

The Namibian reported earlier this year that the medical doctors, who took the HPCNA to court, were exonerated by three medical experts who found that the examinations which the doctors were subjected to were difficult, unnecessary, and out of context. The medical graduates were trained in the Ukraine, Russia, Algeria, Cuba and China, amongst others.

The announcement is a relief to the graduates, some of who told The Namibian yesterday that although they were grateful for the second chance, they were disappointed by the standard of the evaluation process. A graduate, who declined to be named, also questioned why their last evaluation was different from the one that graduates from the Unam School of Medicine underwent.

Weyulu said the evaluation will be open for 2019 medical graduates, as well as those who completed their studies in previous years, but have not been evaluated. He added that those who were evaluated can also be re-evaluated.

"Medical graduates who successfully completed the 12-months practical training will also be evaluated on the same day, albeit separately. Medical graduates who have not applied for registration but desire to be evaluated in September are urged to submit their applications to the Medical and Dental Council by 16 August 2019," he added.

The government made it mandatory that Namibian medical graduates with international degrees should have their competencies evaluated against the standards of the HPCNA.

Weyulu said graduates who feel unprepared or fail would be evaluated in September next year as well.

"A graduate has a choice as to when she/he may be evaluated. That means those who do not feel ready for the September 2019 evaluation may opt to be evaluated in January/February, or September/ October 2020," explained the registrar.

In email communication with The Namibian, Weyulu said each applicant is normally evaluated three times per application.

"Once such chances are exhausted, a graduate must apply anew. Those who happen to fail in September will retake the evaluation in the next round, depending on their remaining chances to be evaluated," he said.

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