The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) has called for the health council to set up an examination for foreign-trained medical graduates which is transparent, non-discriminatory and unbiased.
This is after the Health Professions Council of Namibia (HPCNA) last week requested foreign-trained medical graduates including the 204 who had previously failed the evaluation test to write the pre-internship examination on 27 September.
The government made it obligatory that Namibian graduates with international degrees must have their competencies evaluated against the standards of the health council.
PDM secretary-general Manuel Ngaringombe welcomed the government’s decision to allow graduates to rewrite.
The PDM released a statement where Ngaringombe noted that there some issues brought to their office by foreign-trained doctors which included the period of the examination, an increase in content with no increase in the time given, the swapping of sections, and faulty numbering in the examination.
He added that the notice of the examination’s total score being increased from 100% to 300% announced 16 days before the evaluation date was a violation of the regulations under the Medical and Dental Council of Namibia.
“According to students and based on our research, the examination was not at the level of graduates (too difficult) and inappropriate, and the questions do not represent medical practice and the clinical situation in Namibia.”
Ngaringombe said foreign graduates were also complaining about unfairness and discriminatory evaluation process between them and the University of Namibia-trained medical doctors.
“For instance, the examination time allocated to them was shorter than that allocated to the Unam medical students,” he said.
The secretary-general said the current doctor-to-patient ratio is estimated to be below the international standard of 1:1 000, hence it was time to give the graduates a chance.
“Therefore, allowing the foreign-trained doctors to do internships in our public hospitals will address doctors’ shortages in future. Although the government invested heavily in public healthcare since independence, the shortages of doctors and other healthcare experts remain.”