THE Ministry of Health and Child Care has expressed concern at the high failure rate among student medical doctors which is seriously affecting efforts to increase skilled personnel in the health sector.
BY FELUNA NLEYA
Permanent secretary in the ministry Gerald Gwinji said this year alone, out of the over 100 who sat for their final medical school examinations, about 60 students failed to make it.
“Having roughly 60 students failing to make it to the next level has definitely affected our manpower development and deployment,” Gwinji said.
“We then have to rationalise on what we have. We distribute them throughout the central hospitals so that work continues.”
He said government needed at least 90 medical students annually for deployment at central hospitals.
“The problem now is that our population has grown, disease burden has also grown and, therefore, we increasingly need more and more manpower. So this year, it has been a bit of a challenge,” Gwinji said
“In as much as it is a challenge in terms of incoming human resource, it just attests to the stringency of the university system in terms of saying ‘you are now proficient, you can proceed’ or ‘no, you need more time,
therefore, we are comfortable with that position’. We want well-baked practitioners coming into the system.”
He said students who would not have made it were either given supplementary examinations or made to repeat.
“Those who would have not made it are actually given a second chance. They are given a sup or repeat, but if you are deemed totally unable, then it’s the university that decides whether they should stop completely,” Gwinji said.
Doctors said the failure of some students would mean more workload for junior doctors.
Junior doctors are usually the first point of call for patients who visit central hospitals.