Black Surgeon Barred

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… Slams Health Council for Alleged Discrimination

By Petronella Sibeene

WINDHOEK

A Namibian dentist who is practising abroad is finding it difficult to register with the Health Professionals Council of Namibia because of allegedly failing to prove his specialist qualifications.

United Kingdom-based Dr Panduleni Itula, who applied to register as a specialist oral and maxillofacial surgeon, said he has been battling to operate in Namibia for the past seven years. He has blamed the health professionals council for stifling his efforts.

He has alleged unfair treatment of applications submitted by black medical practitioners to the council.

Itula, who says he holds of a Masters Degree in Oral and Maxillo-
facial Surgery from Sheffield University, lashed out at the Health Professionals Council, which he alleges is still suffering from a “colonial hangover”.

He said he has been applying for registration since 2000 but to no avail.

“It appears that foreign qualifications are only acceptable as long as they have been obtained from South Africa. This colonial hangover is depicted in all health professions,” he said.

Itula further alleges that white Namibians who obtained similar qualifications from South Africa are registered without delay, while blacks with British qualifications, like him, are subjected to humiliating delaying tactics.
Yesterday, Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Richard Kamwi, met the Health Professionals Council of Namibia to discuss Itula’s case.

It emerged after the meeting that the council could not register Itula as a specialist in oral and maxillofacial surgery because he is practising as a dentist in the UK. Had he been working as a specialist in oral and maxillofacial surgery, with certificate proof, he would have been registered as such in his home country.

Itula currently works in the UK at ACE Dental Surgery and Implant Centre and has worked on more than 3??????’??

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