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03 July 2019: Press Release: LRC Intervention Permits Medical Graduates to Write HPCSA Examinations

Press Release: LRC Intervention Permits Medical Graduates to Write HPCSA Examinations

Published by Legal Resources Centre 3 July 2019

Press Release: LRC Intervention Permits Medical Graduates to Write HPCSA Examinations
For Immediate Release: 3 July 2019
 
The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) represented 77 South African medical graduates who had acquired their medical qualification abroad and who sought admission to practice in South Africa. A prerequisite to practising as a medical professional is passing the board examination convened by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).
 
Our clients complained of prejudice in that they were forced to wait months and in some cases years before they were permitted to write the board examination.
 
The LRC intervention to ascertain the reason for the delay elicited the HPCSA response that it had imposed a limit of 120 graduates permitted to write the board examination at any one of its two scheduled sittings of the examination each year. 
 
It was not clear but the limit appeared to relate to the capacity constraints of the venue selected by the HPCSA to conduct the board examinations.
 
The LRC view was that the imposition of the limit on the number of graduates was arbitrary and inconsistent with the Health Professions Act as well as the lack of qualified medical professionals in our stressed public health service.
 
Extensive communications were conducted with the HPCSA culminating in the LRC demand that all graduates who satisfied the minimum requirements be permitted to write the examinations failing which legal proceedings would be instituted.
 
On the eve of launching the legal proceedings, reason prevailed and the HPCSA acceded to the LRC’s demand that the medical graduates be permitted to write the examinations at the next sitting which is scheduled for October/November 2019. 
 
The HPCSA also confirmed the convening of an additional sitting of the board examination to ensure all compliant graduates are afforded the opportunity to write and has notified each medical graduate of the date on which he or she will be sitting the board examination.
 
The LRC welcomes the settlement of the dispute and thanks the HPCSA for assisting its efforts to ensure our country’s public health system is afforded the opportunity to use the potential skill represented by this greater pool of young South African medical graduates.
 
ENDS
________________________________________________________________________
 
For Media Related Queries Please Contact: 
 
Sharita Samuel            Legal Resources Centre (KZN Regional Director)                      sharita@lrc.org.za 
Tad Khosa                    Legal Resources Centre (National Communications)                 tad@lrc.org.za
Trevinen Maistry           Legal Resources Centre (KZN Attorney)                                     trevinen@lrc.org.za

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