GOVERNMENT has directed the Health Professions Council of Zambia (HPCZ) to cancel the licentiate examinations scheduled for this monthend to enable 200 doctors who graduated last year to be employed as interns.
Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya told journalists that the decision has been taken to allow the doctors to practise what they have learnt in their seven years and also boost human resource in various health centres across the country.
Dr Chilufya said the cancellation of the examinations does not mean that Zambia will start adopting substandard trained doctors.
“These examinations were only introduced last year. The standard practice should be that after seven years of learning, the student doctors have to start training practically (internship) between one year six months and two years under consultancy. When you are certified fit, that’s when you get your full licences and can be given the independence to go and practise anywhere. If you do not satisfy the consultant, you do not get the licence,” he said.
Dr Chilufya said the introduction of licentiate examinations was to addresses fears that HPCZ had about the performance of some students who were graduating from some learning institutions.
He, however, said what is important is to ensure standards of training are set.
The minister said learning institutions should also have a good number of qualified lecturers.
“Learning facilities must be in acceptable standards, and the quality of a doctor assured,” he said.
Dr Chilufya said the examination in the student doctor’s final year should be done by a competent board of certified examiners.
Dr Chilufya has also said Cabinet has approved the council of Levy Mwanawasa Medical University.
He said the 3,000-capacity university will start operating immediately.
Dr Chilufya said the university will have campuses in Chipata, Ndola Kitwe, Livingstone and other areas.
He said currently, the country has 200 specialists who are expected to increase to 500 in the next five years.
And Dr Chilufya said the country recorded five cases of cholera in the last one month.
He said all the five people have been treated and discharged.
Dr Chilufya said this yesterday during a Zambia multisectoral cholera elimination workshop.
“The five cases were recorded in Kabanana, Garden Chilulu, SOS, Chipata and Mtendere. Currently, we do not have any person admitted and our team is in the field sensitising people,” he said.
Minister in the Office of the Vice-President Sylvia Chalikosa said the fight to eliminate cholera by 2025 will be achieved with concerted effort from all stakeholders.
Ms Chalikosa said the Office of the Vice-President, line ministries and cooperating partners will help with resource mobilisation.
Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection Dennis Wanchinga said cholera is a symptom of poor hygiene and lack of clean water.
Dr Wanchinga said the ministry will ensure supply of clean water in all parts of Zambia.
Minister of Local Government Vincent Mwale said the ministry has partnered with the National Pension Scheme Authority to build bus stations