KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo. File photo: Independent Media

Durban - South African students who intend undertaking medical studies in other countries must ensure that the qualifications they are to obtain are recognised here.

This was the warning on Thursday by KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo.

He said there were graduates who could not be employed or practise here because their qualifications were not approved. Universities in China, Turkey and Mauritius were in that category.

“The department warns parents and students to check first and ensure that the universities where they intend studying are recognised here in South Africa,” he said.

“We are very strict about that. We have to protect our profession and our health care users by ensuring that they are handled only by people who have received the approved medical qualifications.”

Dhlomo said when the graduates returned, they failed the examination of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). The council evaluates graduates and issues licences to practitioners.

“Right now there are problems with certain internships, because you can’t grant internships if the HPCSA hasn’t granted a licence,” Dhlomo said.

Students and parents can check with the council whether the universities they intend studying at are recognised.

“It is sad when parents have sent their children, paying handsome amounts to these universities, only to find out later that the qualifications aren’t recognised.

“We urge everyone to ensure that the universities they send their children to are fully accredited and recognised,” Dhlomo said.

The Mercury