The orientation programme, which is designed to accommodate foreign-trained Namibian graduates and allow them to enter internships, is expected to commence in January next year until August.
This was announced by health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula in a ministerial statement in the National Assembly on Wednesday. Shangula explained the purpose of the programme was to prepare foreign-trained health workers for internship training and thereby facilitate their integration into the national health system as registered professionals.
“I must emphasise the programme is not meant to retrain the graduates, but to prepare them to be able to complete their respective internships,” he said.
He added the programme was designed to provide for continuous assessment of each graduate to ensure effective learning and to maximise successful outcomes.
Successful candidates may then commence with an internship in September 2021. “In an event where a candidate does not complete the initial eight months of the orientation programme, he or she will be afforded an additional four months to catch up,” he explained. The minister noted that 272 graduates have applied to be enrolled in the programme currently, however, the number might change, as it includes graduates who are eligible for re-evaluation by the Medical and Dental Council of Namibia.
He said that the last evaluation for 2020 is scheduled for 14 October 2020 and 318 graduates have been invited. Of the 318, 28 will be evaluated for the first time, while 195 will be evaluated for the second time and 95 for third time.
“I must point out that a candidate is only evaluated three times per application and if unsuccessful, additional training is required. This will now be done under the orientation programme. I wish to add that, as has been the practice, the evaluation paper administered by the Medical and Dental Council of Namibia is set, marked and moderated by medical specialists employed by the Ministry of Health and Social Services who train medical interns and most of whom also lecture at Unam School of Medicine,” he clarified. The programme will be offered over eight months, which includes theoretical teaching for three months and clinical attachment at a health facility for five months.
“There will be continuous assessment during each of these phases. An end of rotation clinical examination will also be administered. Successful candidates will be awarded a certificate of completion and will have the opportunity to proceed to two-year internship training. There will thus not be a need or requirement for further evaluation before entering internship programmes,” said the minister.