Foreign-trained doctors approach court for help
A mob of disgruntled foreign-trained doctors, who made headlines for failing a medical test, converged last week at the Windhoek High Court where they sought to stop another oncoming examination test slated for the 21st of January.
The case titled Natalia Ileka and the medical and dental council of Namibia has four applicants and lists the council and chairperson of an appeal committee as 1st and 2nd respondents and drags along the health minister and the University of Namibia.
The doctors sat for an exam which they failed and launched an appeal against it saying it was unfair and illegal.
They allege that the council now wants them to sit for another exam when they had not yet finalised the said appeal.
The appeal was lodged on Friday the 11th of January this year in which the doctors disputed the pre-internship test they were made to write as having been riddled with irregularities.
The doctors said they were given a 16 days’ notice of the exam instead of a mandatory 30 days which resulted in only two out of 240 of them passing it.
“We were further informed that the number of the questions for the written portion of the evaluation had been tripled from 100 multiple choice questions, as it had been in the recent past to 300 multiple choice questions,” they said in their founding affidavit seen by this publication.
The doctors have also argued that in spite of the increase in the content of the work to be examined and the tripling of questions, the time for completion remained three hours per paper as in the past.
They said they aired their grievances within 24 hours which was ignored after which they approached a lawyer for legal action, at a cost of N$60 000, to demand council to produce reasons for the alleged discrepancies.
The doctors also said they were shocked, on exam day, to see that they were writing a general surgery test instead of the scheduled internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology one as well as pediatrics.
They claim that after the council refused to entertain their grievances they were forced to launch an appeal against the decision to “subject us to an unlawful and unfair examination”.
They have stated that it had become clear to them from the conduct and decisions of the chairperson of the appeal committee of the medical and dental council of Namibia that the council seeks to continue with the examination set for the 21st of January this year.
This, they said, “is a violation of the rights of all the applicants and those supporting this application”.
“The urgency of the matter pertains mainly to the fact that the 1st respondent has set the supplementation and re-evaluation of the written component of the pre-internship evaluation for the 21st of January 2019. The matter is therefore urgent given the date and considering that the 1st and 2nd respondents are intent on proceeding with same before the adjudication and determination of the appeal lodged,” they said.