• July 2nd, 2020

New orientation for medical trainees

The Ministry of Health and Social Services has introduced an eight-month orientation programme, replacing the multiple-choice question pre-internship evaluation that it administered in the past.  

Health and social services minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula said all graduates who did not successfully complete the pre-internship evaluation by the Health Profession Council of Namibia (HPCNA) will have to register for the new orientation programme at the MoHSS head of human resources directorate. After successful completion of the programme -the graduates will automatically advance to do the two-year internship without writing another requisite examination.

Shangula made the remarks during a meeting where he engaged with foreign trained medical graduates and stakeholders yesterday.

The meeting was about the pre-internship evaluation that the medical graduates are required to undergo before entering internship.

A group of graduates scheduled to write supplementary on 18 March were encourage to go and write instead of opting out.

Shangula said the orientation programme was developed to facilitate the integration of the medical graduates trained abroad into the national health system. He said it is not meant to re-train the graduates. 
“The graduates will be guided throughout the theoretical and practical teaching with the understanding that they have the basic competencies and knowledge to prove their ability to become good competent medical practitioners,” explained the health minister.

Shangula explained the introduced orientation programme will be offered over a period of eight months starting from April to November. 

He said three months, that is from April to June will be classroom theoretical teaching at the School of Medicine and MoHSS National Health Training Centre in Windhoek. The five months, that is from July to November is for clinical attachment at existing teaching hospitals.  The minister said depending on the number of graduate-medical officer ratio, two or more health facilities may be added. He said graduates will be assessed in five domains, namely obstetrics and gynecology, surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics and psychiatry.

Shangula said theoretical competencies will be assessed by means of tests and Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) continuously while the clinical competencies will be assessed through OSCE, ward rounds and bedside presentations.

“Once the theory and clinical teaching are successfully completed, the graduate will automatically advance to do the two-year internship without writing another examination,” he said.

The minister said for those who would not make it will have four months within which to improve on areas they have struggled with. He said the orientation programme should not exceed 12 months.
“Should the second attempt not be successful, the graduate will have to exit the programme. Please remember that this programme was not designed for any failure,” he said.  In addition, he said each graduate is expected to approach NSFAF for funding for both theoretical and practical attachment or arrange for private funding.  He said participants in this programme are expected to make their own arrangements for accommodation, transport and meals.

He said over the past two to three years, there has been a marked increase in the number of medical graduates trained at various medical institutions abroad. The majority of these students could not enter the internship evaluation. He said in order to address the situation, the ministry introduced a remedial training programme which was endorsed by Cabinet. It was offered for a period of 12 months to assist the graduates to overcome the identified impediments to accessing internship

“During the first two years, the ministry managed the two intakes very well because the number of the graduates were still manageable at that time,” he remarked

However, he noted as from last year, the number of graduates seeking to participate in the remedial programme increased drastically from 13 in 2017 to 26 in 2018 and almost 150 in 2019.
“I must add that it is quite a challenge to accommodate such a big number of people in a training session because there is a limited ratio with respect to how many trainees a trainer may take on or supervise.” 
- sikela@nepc.com.na

Selma Ikela
2020-03-09 07:18:47 | 3 months ago

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