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Jobs Elusive for Over 100 Russia-Trained Medical Graduates in South Africa

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

South Africa is currently witnessing an ironic paradox as over 100 medical graduates, trained in Russia, remain jobless despite the country's severe shortage of medical staff. This issue arose after their applications sent last year to the South Africa’s Health Professions Council (HPCSA) and the national government, requesting recognition and board examination dates, remained unanswered.



Nomathemba Tshabalala, a victim of this predicament, aimed to uplift her community upon returning last year. Despite her ambitions, she is currently battling to sustain herself financially, yet alone contribute to her family and community. This shared experience among the medical graduates presently raises questions about the value and efficacy of education in the nation.


Aside from unemployed graduates such as Tshabalala, Emmanuel Mnisi, another unfortunate medical graduate, works as a waiter in Johannesburg to support his extended family, despite spending 11 years studying medicine. emotions of failure and isolation continue to build among these highly educated individuals.



Hayley Reichert, representative for the graduates, believes this delayed action by the authorities exacerbates the prevailing shortage of medical staff across South Africa. As Reichert points out, these willing and qualified individuals could substantially alleviate the existing healthcare crisis.


David Mametja, HPCSA Head of Department: Core Operations, explained that the delay exists due to negligible responses from medical schools required to facilitate their board exams.


Now, the Health Professions Council of South Africa and the South African government have a 14 to 21-day deadline to propose resolutions to this ongoing conundrum concerning these Russia-trained medical graduates.


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