Over 100 doctors who have been trained overseas, have been blocked by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) from practising in the country because of certain policy guidelines.
The group of doctors have now launched urgent court proceedings in a bid to be registered as medical professionals. The group – some of whom have been waiting since 2019 – will now turn to the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria at the end of August.
They want to interdict the HPCSA as well as the Medical and Dental Professional Board from invoking the provisions of the New Pathway Policy Guideline for foreign-trained doctors, which was adopted in June last year, which prevents them from writing qualifying exams.
According to the group, the HPCSA in any event could not hold them to those guidelines because another judge in a similar application had already set aside the provisions. In their court papers, the doctors said that they simply wanted to write the required clinical exams required for foreign-trained doctors, scheduled for next month.
The so-called medical watchdog is disallowing them from being registered as health practitioners on the basis that they must follow the provisions of the New Pathway Policy Guideline.
All the current applicants are South African citizens and have graduated from medical training institutions based in China, Mauritius, Romania, Ukraine and Malaysia. Dr Ragooloo said it was clear that the hindrance to the registration of foreign-qualified doctors was caused by the implementation of the New Pathway Policy Guideline.
“The foreign-qualified doctors’ future remains in limbo as we are barred from writing evaluation examinations and we are thus unable to earn a living.”