Omani medical student hopes to practise in NZ

An international medical student who has spent nearly a decade studying in Dunedin says he is not ready to give up his goal of obtaining registration as a doctor in this country.

The Otago Daily Times reported this week international medical students graduating this year are likely to miss out on work placements because of a shortage of placements.

Sultan Al-Shaqsi (26), of Oman, is in his final year of medical school in Dunedin.

He said it was a lack of transparency about the placement problem that upset him most. International students should have been told much earlier than last week.

This would have given them more time to make other arrangements, such as applying for places overseas.

He said it was not too late for him to find a graduate job in Oman, where the Government had paid for his study, but at this stage he wanted to stay in New Zealand.

He had made many friends and was interested in the New Zealand health system. As well as his medical training, he had completed a PhD looking at the New Zealand health system's preparedness for disaster.

''I know the country very well. I love the people, [but] I can't get a job.''

Mr Al-Shaqsi would hold out for a job over the coming months, but eventually would have to leave if nothing eventuated. He understood domestic students had to come first, and acknowledged he had never been promised a graduate job.

The situation, caused by an increased number of graduates and low turnover in the established workforce, is expected to be an issue again next year.

International students have been placed in previous years.

The Omani Government had not bonded him to return as a condition of his funding.


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