Chinese neurologist wins case over internship policy

2 minute read

Chinese-trained neurologist wins $40,000 racial discrimination settlement against ACT


A Chinese-trained neurologist has won a $40,000 racial discrimination settlement against the Australian Capital Territory after challenging its internship recruitment policy.

Dr Qinglin Wang, 51, fought the ACT government over its policy of ranking internship applicants in eight categories, with ANU graduates at the top and international medical graduates at the bottom.

“Following the implementation of this policy for the 2014 intern intake, overseas-trained doctors are relegated to the last-priority category, under which there was no real possibility of Dr Wang, or any other overseas-trained doctor, obtaining an internship,” the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal said.

Dr Wang moved to Australia in 2001 with a MBBS and a master’s degree in neurology from Tjianjing Medical University in China and 16 years’ work experience, including more than two years as director of the university’s neurology department.

Since 2002, he has worked in the ACT as an aged-care nurse while completing bridging and courses and exams towards medical registration. In 2013, he applied for intern and RMO positions at Canberra Hospital, but was unsuccessful.

The ACT’s chief medical administrator told the tribunal the ranking policy came from a view that locally trained recruits were better equipped to practise in Australia. But the ACT said it also reflected a desire to promote local graduates and medical schools.

It ordered the ACT to pay Dr Wang $40,000 in compensation for his pain, embarrassment and humiliation, and to consider him in the next intake of interns.

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