Question NW2268 to the Minister of Health

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08 October 2021 - NW2268

Profile picture: Hlengwa, Ms MD

Hlengwa, Ms MD to ask the Minister of Health

(1)Whether, concerning the policy on the Pathway for Registration of South African Citizens who hold Foreign Qualifications not prescribed for registration as medical practitioners, the Government has considered less restrictive ways for the registration of South Africans who obtained medical qualifications in foreign countries to practice as medical practitioners; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) what total number of foreign trained South African citizens who hold medical qualifications and who applied to the Health Professions Council of South Africa have to date not been granted the opportunity to sit for examinations and to undergo supplementary clinical training?


1. According to Section 4 (Application for registration) of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) Regulation R101, An application by any foreign qualified person for registration as a health practitioner in any of the professions registered under the Act shall be made on the prescribed application form obtainable from the professional board concerned, and shall be accompanied by - (e) in the case of an application for registration in a profession for which internship training is a requirement, a certificate of completed training as an intern or of similar training or experience obtained elsewhere and the Programme for such training; (g) an original certificate of good standing, which shall not be more than six months old, issued by the foreign registration authority where the applicant is or was registered”.

Most of the South Africans who study abroad in institutions not recognized by the HPCSA are unable to meet these requirements. The pathway was intended to assist such applicants by providing an opportunity for clinical exposure and registration as student interns so that they could then be able to undertake formal internship. Unfortunately the pathway, which was approved by the National Health Council (NHC), has not been fully implemented because of the outstanding issues between HPCSA and medical schools, in terms of providing this opportunity for these students interns training.

(2) All applicants who are eligible and/or have submitted compliant documents have been allowed to sit for examinations. It should however be noted that, because of the COVID19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, there were no exams held in 2020. This led to a backlog that has, since the beginning of 2021, been attended to. The HPCSA is currently processing new applications that are currently being received for future examinations.


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