News / South Africa / Health

Sipho Mabena
Premium Journalist
1 minute read
18 Oct 2021
3:30 am

Foreign doctors head back to court to be allowed to write board exams

Sipho Mabena

Victory has proved short-lived for more than 100 foreign-trained South African doctors after they were yet again left out of the board examinations, despite a court ordering the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) to allow them to write.

Picture: iStock

The graduate doctors have hauled the HPCSA and its executives, including its new president, prof Mbulaheni Simon Nemutandani, and acting registrar Melissa de Graaff, to court for contempt of the order.

The health department and the HPCSA are yet to answer questions or comment on why the order, granted on 31 August, was not implemented.

Last month, the group of 109 graduate doctors successfully lobbied the High Court in Pretoria to force the HPCSA to allow them to write either the theory or practical components of the South African board examinations, which would pave their way into practice.

The department of health and the HPCSA were also interdicted and restrained from invoking the provisions of the New Pathway Policy Guideline seemingly used to bar foreign-trained doctors from admission to practice.

The court ordered that the graduate doctors be enrolled for the examinations scheduled for 9 and 10 September, but the date has come and gone without any invitation for them to write the exams.

Advocate Rene Govender, the lawyer for the affected graduate doctors, confirmed they have slapped the department and the HPCSA with contempt of court proceedings.

She said papers have been filed and the matter is scheduled to be heard on 12 November.

“The HPCSA has not implemented the order fully and we are going to court to make them to enforce the order,” Govender said.