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Quality related concerned are faced as the foreign-trained doctors fail to clear the local exams

The failure of half of the foreign-trained Ugandan doctors who last year sat the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council (UMDPC) competency exam which permits them to practice in Uganda and in the greater East African region has raised fresh questions about the quality of their education.
A total of 24 doctors who trained at medical schools in China, Russia, Ukraine, Sudan, Algeria and the United States sat the examination, which, if passed, would grant them a license to practice. Of these, 12 failed. The 12 will not be able to practice unless they redo the license examination and pass.
Dr Katumba Ssentongo Gubala, registrar of the UMDPC, said a number of foreign-trained doctors exhibited a lack of skill and the competence required to work in hospital wards.
Some of those who failed were sitting the local exam for their fourth and final attempt, he said.
Whether Ugandan or not, all medical graduates trained outside the country have to go through thorough assessments before they can be allowed a license to practice.
The process includes verification of transcripts from medical schools, written clinical exams and peer review tests for specialists.
Gubala said graduates who sit the local test are in two categories: those who have studied in other countries, and Ugandans who trained abroad on government scholarships.
‘Lives are at stake’
“Our [medical] profession is very sensitive. We have lives at stake and have to be sure of the doctors who treat our patients,” he said of the examination standards.
Gubala said failure rates were high. “The performance is not good … Very few [foreign-trained] doctors pass this examination straight away. Yet we test for basic knowledge, which everyone who has gone through medical school should know.”
Gubala said the council has not decided what to do with doctors who fail the exam on their fourth attempt. “We will hold a meeting with them [the doctors] and decide a way forward, whether they can retrain,” Gubala told University World News.
It is not just Uganda that is struggling with doctors trained at medical schools abroad.