South Africa

      35 Comments on South Africa



South Africa flagRepublic of South Africa (RSA) is SouthAfrican Country bordered with South Atlantic Ocean, Indian ocean, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland. South Africa is multi-ethnic and multilingual country having 11 official languages. Main languages spoken are Zulu, Xhosa and Afrikaans but English is predominant. Population of South Africa is around 54 million and it is 2nd largest economy in Africa after Nigeria.

Both private and Public healthcare system run parallel with each other. 80% of population rely on public health care. South Africa spends 9% of its GDP on health care system. HIV/AIDS infected population in RSA is one of  the largest, about 6 million people are infected with it.

More health statistics about South Africa can be found here

Life expectancy in South Africa can be seen here

Undergraduate medical education

In south Africa before university schooling is for 12 years. Undergraduate South African medical education in South Africa varies in different universities. Most Universities offer 6 year program of MBChB and some of them offers additional postgraduate medical qualification for four more years.

Upon graduation doctors have to complete 2 year of internship and one year of community service to register with Health Professions Council to practice as a doctor in the country            

Outline of undergraduate medical education 

There are two departments of education one of them is Department of Basic Education and other is Department of Higher Education and Training of RSA.


Residency/specialty training in RSA can be obtained only after getting registration certificate from Health Professions Council of South Africa. For getting registration certificate foreign medical graduates after getting preliminary approval, will need to sit for examination in their chosen field out of 12 below mentioned disciplines.

Once registered with the council, health care professionals will need to apply for entrance into Master of medicine (MMed) at their chosen university offering such training programs e.g. University of Capetown, University of Witwatersrand Johannesburg.


Licence is foreign doctors registration in South Africa certificate to practice. there are 9 categories or types of foreign doctors registration in South Africa.


foreign doctors registration in South Africa  criteria for foreign medical and dental graduates with Health Professions Council depends on respective board. There are 12 professional boards in South Africa and foreign doctors registration in South Africa criteria for each board varies.

  1. Dental therapy & oral hygiene 
  2. Dietetics & Nutrition
  3. Emergency care
  4. Environmental health
  5. Medical & Dental Science
  6. Medical Technology
  7. Occupational, Medical orthotics, prosthetics & Arts therapy
  8. Optometry & dispensing opticians
  9. Physiotherapy, podiatry and Biokinetics
  10. Psychology
  11. Radiography and clinical technology
  12. Speech language and hearing professions 

Requirements for admission into MMed programs must have:

  • Basic medical qualification
  • Must have completed internship and community service (3 year postgraduate experience)
  • foreign doctors registration in South Africa certificate from Health Professions Council of RSA

More information regarding Requirements for foreign doctors in South Africa.


Format of examination for foreign doctors registration in South Africa is as follows:

  1. Usually written examination
  • Medico-legal, ethical and language assessment
  • Basic, clinical and public health knowledge assessment.

2.   If passed 1st exam part then written and clinical exam including an Objective Structured Professional Examination (OSPE).

Only three attempts within 2 consecutive years will be allowed.


Examination and other fee details for foreign doctors registration in South Africa can be found here


Health care professionals can contact Africa health placement for jobs and posting in rural hospitals after getting registered in RSA.


Average salary of physician in RSA in 33200 ZAR (2664 USD) per month.


Foreign medical graduates should first register with Health Profession Council of South Africa. There are 12 departments which foreign doctors should see for specific foreign doctors registration in South Africa and documentation criteria above.

A complete detailed step by step information about foreign doctors registration in South Africa process and  Guidelines for General practitioner foreign doctors registration in South Africa in RSA.


A detailed list of documents required for foreign doctors registration in South Africa and guidelines in all 12 sectors can be found here

Specialist foreign doctors registration in South Africa form and guidelines

Postgraduate Medical Education

Postgraduate South African medical education is being offered by some of the main institutions around the country. For foreigners . University of the Witwatersrand offers three types of courses or programs. They are considered as Supernumerary Registrars.

In south Africa foreign doctors have a number of options to continue their education and training at postgraduate level usually lasts for 5-7 years

They can either enroll in masters program in medicine, surgery, Obs/gynecology, pediatrics etc or they can apply for postgraduate diplomas and postgraduate fellowships in all major clinical disciplines. But for all clinical disciplines, they will be required to get certificate of foreign doctors registration in South Africa from Health Professionals Council of South Africa.

A number of CPD courses in each of 12 disciplines can be found on Health Profession Council of South Africa website

Though for fellowships there are examinations conducted by colleges of relative specialty.  A large database of options for postgraduate doctors can be found on Colleges of Medicine of South Africa website


Links about all registered professional health societies associations and organizations can be found here



35 thoughts on “South Africa

  1. Naveen

    Sur i am a mbbs doctor from india.i want to do postgraduation from south africa.kindly tell me the procedure.

    1. junaidjaf Post author

      There is detailed information. first you need to register with the board after passing registration examination. if you are mbbs then u will need to take examination with Medical and Dental Science board. here you can find all relevant information . only after getting license/registration certificate upon successful passing examination. then u can apply for post graduation or residency training in the country

  2. Irfan

    I am writing you from Saudi. I was always in interested in working in south Africa but due to some financial issues I couldn’t pursue over there.
    I wish to work I RSA..even now. I am MBBS graduate with Post Graduate Diploma jn Diabetes, at present working in Saudia as a Dibetologist. Can I get a job RSA? If yes..then what I have to do? My wife is a specialist Nurse in NICU and head of NICU with almost 15 years of experience , will she get a job as well?
    Kindly reply me soon.
    Dr. m .Irfan

  3. haroon

    hi, i have done my mbbs in 2012, than internship in 2013 , now i am working as a medical officer. kindly guide me how can i get job and do post graduate residency in south Africa??

    1. junaidjaf Post author

      There is detailed information on the health council website. First you need to get registration/license and only then u can apply for postgraduate residency training. But for license u will need to take exam unless you are exempt from it. read the post and then go to this site for more information and documents and application form to be submitted for registration.

  4. asim

    I went to hpsca website But i dont know which form should b downloaded for sitting in registration exam.i want to do post grad from rsa.kindly specify the form.

  5. muhammad saeed

    i am eotking as vonsultant ansesthediologist in Pakistan.
    I have done Diploma in anaesthsia.
    i want to work in anaesthedia deppt. in DOUTH AFRICA.
    Kindly guide me

  6. muhammad saeed

    i am working as consultant ansesthesiologist in Pakistan.
    I have done Diploma in anaesthesia.
    i want to work in anaesthesia deppt. in SOUTH AFRICA.
    Kindly guide me

    1. Muhammad Asjad Shah


      1. Junaid Khan Post author


        Kindly refer to HPCSA website. it’s a very elaborate website with all detailed information provided there

  7. eranga

    i am a medical graduate from russian medica school
    can i do an internship in south africa

    Can i know the procedure

  8. emeka onyedikachi

    Please am a Nigerian doctor with MBBS. Am interested in doing my residency specialty training in southafrica. Please, step by step, how can i achieve this dream? whether surgery, internal medicine, obst n gyn, paediatric, radiology. Any of these. Thanks

  9. Dr.nada

    Hello .I am writing from saudi Arabia
    I am willing to start residancy program in obstetrics and gynecology in south Africa.
    What are the requirements if it possible to join this branch

  10. Anmol Dadhich

    Hello sir,
    I have understood the entire procedure thanks to you.
    But the HPCSA website states that foreign graduates must work in community service for 5 YEARS! and you are saying that only one year community service is required. can you plz reconfirm about this. Also… If community service is for 5 years, can we do our post graduate training during this period?

    1. Junaid Khan Post author


      Please always follow HPCSA website as a valid and authorized source of information. Since rules change regularly. And when you are doing community service. Most of the time you are not eligible for postgraduate training because community service centers are usually in peripheral less developed areas where you can not get specialized teaching experience. But for any confirmatory answers please contact relevant health authority.

      1. Anmol Dadhich

        Thank you for the help…
        I contacted the hpcsa through email. They clarified on everything i wanted to know.
        However, they are saying that internship from india is not recognised bcoz it is only of 1 year duration. (it has to be a minimum of 2 year duration) So can u plz help me on this issue. How do other doctors of india manage to register with the hpcsa


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