MEDICAL for Quality Healthcare in Zambia (MQHZ) director general Dr Quince Mwabu says the reintroduction of licensure examinations for fresh health graduates will bring sanity to the health sector by sieving those without interest to serve patients.
And Dr Mwabu has appealed to the Health Professions Council of Zambia (HPCZ) to set a reasonable price for the examinations.
In an interview, Dr Mwabu observed that it was not everyone who had an interest to serve patients in the health sector as some of them were just there because of jobs.
“It has been actually long overdue. The reintroduction of licentiate exams at least will bring sanity to the health sector in the provision of quality health care services. When you want to improve health care services, we need to start from the health personnel that you are recruiting or that you are producing in our country. Because most health graduates that we have in our country, it is very sad, especially for the patient. So coming up with licentiate exams at least will sieve those who have no interest to serve the patient,” he said.
“In the health sector, it’s not everyone who has interest to serve the patient. Some of them are there because of jobs. So this is the right time we need to identify the people or the health personnel who have interest to serve the patient, because if we continue recruiting any health personnel then we are not doing good to the patient, especially to the country. So this is the right time we need to change because you know some of these health graduates when you are working with them, some of them can’t even cannulate. Some of them can’t even withdraw blood. So we wonder where do they get those training such that they can fail to do the little things in their careers.”
Dr Mwabu said the reintroduction of licensure exams would birth competent and quality health personnel.
“So the coming of licentiate exams at least we are going to have competent and quality health personnel. And you know we have got the mushrooming of colleges and universities that are not registered and they are producing these crops of graduates who don’t know anything and they are posing a danger to the patients. And some of them we wonder how they pass their exams through their practicals. So if we start molding them, refining them to get the best health personnel, definitely patients will stop complaining because now we will be having people who have interest to serve that patient and also to serve the health sector,” he said.
“Since the withhold of the exams in February 2019, there has been a mass production of criminals and unskilled and also unprofessional persons with mushrooming training institutions who are just enrolling anyone and issuing them with undeserving certificates, which has been a major contributor to the crippling of our health system.”
And Dr Mwabu appealed to the HPCZ to ensure a reasonable price for the examinations.
“We welcome the reintroduction of licensure exams but the Health Professions Council of Zambia should also be considerate looking at the situation and the economy of the country. So the prices should be reasonable because most of the people that we have in our country are not working. So they should be charging the reasonable amount which everyone can afford, which every parent who is sponsoring those health cadres can afford. So there should not be exorbitant prices or charges to those students because they are fresh graduates. So at least they should put reasonable charges to make sure that everyone can afford,” said Dr Mwabu.