Government has slashed training and application fees across public health training facilities to K8,500 and K100, respectively, to make them affordable for learners in the health sector.

Speaking in Mansa when he commissioned a K2.6 million practicum site for students of Chinama College, Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya said that the reduction in health workers’ tuition fees was meant to ease the barriers of access to education.

Dr Chilufya further said there had been variations over tuition fees charged by public training facilities ranging from K13,000 to K18,000, which he said was a hindrance or burden among some learners within the same trainings.

“In consultations with the general nursing council, we have looked at all the fees we are charging across the public sector some at K18,000 and others at K13,000, and we have made a decision that they will all be fixed at K8,500”, said Dr Chilufya.

He noted that government had a situation where people would attend six interviews before they were given a place in training institutions and would have bought forms and paid for interview fees at K250 and K350.

Dr Chilufya added that beginning with recruitment, a decision had been made by government to standardise the timings for interviews.

“Going forward, we will only expect applicants in our public institutions for nursing to only pay a K100 for application forms”, Dr Chilufya said.

He said government had created a new number of nursing schools around the country, which should ensure that students should not scamper to secure places.

“The Levy Mwanawasa Medical University has more than 1,500 places available, not only in Lusaka, but also in the various campuses. We are able to have a capacity of more than 5,000 places in a year and so there is no need for us to scamper for places for nursing students”, said Dr Chilufya.