The Knesset has passed on its first reading a law that would exempt new immigrants who are health professionals from having to pay to take a licensing test that will allow them to get a license to practice in Israel. The law, proposed by MK Avraham Nagosa (Likud), will exempt immigrants who are in the country for up to 12 years from paying for tests, conversion of certificates or diplomas, or for other fees involved in establishing themselves in their field of work.
According to Nagosa, many new immigrants who work in the medical professions that require licenses – doctors, dentists, etc. – are required to take tests numerous times, as the tests are not given in their native language, and the percentage of failures on the first and even second test is very high. Each test costs these professionals money, and eventually many are discouraged from pursuing their profession because of the lack of money. The new law will allow medical professionals to take certification tests as many times as they need to without forcing them to incur excessive expenses, Nagosa said.
“Failure of these tests is often due to language issues, and not because of a lack of professional capabilities,” he said. “These immigrants are often highly qualified, and are very good at what they do. Their reduced economic status when they come to Israel often leads to disappointment, tension and depression.” The new law, he added, would make it easier for medical professionals to become certified to practice in Israel, something that could help alleviate the shortage of many medical professionals, especially in the periphery.