The Zambia Medical Association has begun formal discussions with the Ministry of Health and Private Medical Universities to address the issue of medical training that will be affordable for the training institutions.
The Ministry of Health increased the student placement fees by over 500% for 2019. Medical students who go through 4 rotations a year,each of 8 week duration would therefore be required to pay K32 000 annually in addition to tuition.
ZMA President Dr. Abidan Chansa said both parties are committed to the current situation of dialogue that has ensued.
Dr. Chansa said the Association anticipates that these discussions will continue to be held in an honest environment where the responsibilities that the private Universities ought to contribute to and the training institutions needs will take centre stage and will result in development of long-term plans that will direct training of healthcare workers in a well-coordinated manner both in public and private institutions.
This will also encourage better utilisation of scarce hospital resources that include surgical consumables and other diagnostic resources that are key to training of quality medical doctors.
And on the proposed increment of clinical placement fees, Dr. Chansa said the Association has resolved that there is need to continuously look at ways of improving the quality of Medical Education provided for all holistically.
He noted that Zambia has been on an ambitious path to achieve Universal Health Coverage and to realise this, human capital development and innovative ways of healthcare financing remain critical.
Dr. Chansa said currently, the sector has seen a rapid rise in the need to train more health professionals both at undergraduate and postgraduate which has resulted in an increase in public and private schools providing training in health courses.
He said all these trainings happen in public institutions with a resultant increase in the cost of provision of health care as the training of healthcare workers increases the cost of running the institutions.
Dr. Chansa said ZMA remains a supporter of progressive government policies to achieve the Country’s goals in achieving Healthcare Financing, Universal Health Coverage, ending the HIV epidemic, Malaria and Tuberculosis through training of well qualified medical personnel.