NAQEZ criticizes increased clinical placement fees

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… many medical students and nurses would be forced to abandon studies

LINDA SOKO TEMBO writes

@SunZambian

The decision by the Ministry of Health to allow ’astronomical’ increase of clinical placement fees for student nurses and trainee doctors to about 700% increase has shocked the National Action for Quality Education in Zambia (NAQEZ).

NAQEZ executive director, Aaron Chansa said clinical placements of students were a critical component of training for nurses and all students pursuing medical qualifications.

Mr Chansa said the announced new fees announced by ministry of health permanent secretary Kakulubelwa Mulalelo by were unprecedented and unsubstantiated.

He said the clinical placement fees were only introduced in 2017 as a way of supporting the costs incurred by health institutions in providing conducive learning environment for students.

He said in 2017 the fees for the medical student doctors were pegged at K174 per week for clinical placements but that the new system would now require students to pay K1,000 per week.

“For nurses, the increase is from K57.25 per week to K450 per week. With the above fee structure, the cost of sending a child to train in any medical field will now range from K22, 000 to K30, 000 per year. We find this hurting to the poor, the youth and an act against quality education,” he said.

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