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The Zambia Medical Association says the increase in placement fees for medical students will affect Zambia’s attainment of Universal Health Coverage.

The Ministry of Health has such directed all institutions to to increase placement fees for students in its institutions.

But Association General Secretary Francis Mupeta said the increase will restrict the medical profession for the privileged few

“For those studying Medicine or dental surgery, they be expected to pay K1000 per week. Now, lets put this into context. The second part of medical training is called “clinical medicine”. this is where you actually learn the practice of the Art of medicine. In short, you learn to become a doctor. In the UNZA context, you spend 8 weeks in one rotation and there are 4 rotations per academic year! So these fees translates to K8,000 per rotation i.e surgery, internal medicine, Obstetrics and gynecology and pediatrics. This makes a total of K32,000 per academic year,” Dr Mupeta said.

“The current fee structure for UNZA is K28,980 per academic year for those in second year. This amount is even less for those in Final year [about K17,000+]. Given that the School needs to pay health institutions, UNZA will have to surrender all its tution fees to hospitals and look for the deficit to make K32,000.”

He added, “If UNZA decides to push this cost to students, which is the most likely, for one to study Medicine, they will need cough K60,980 per academic year for tuitions alone without other fees like; Student indexing, Library and Health.”

“This in my honest opinion is meant to restrict the medical profession for the privileged few. This is will affect Zambia from attaining Universal Health Coverage, a song that will become a theme for bedtime stories of health access.”

He stated that policies should be meant to help people out of poverty not condemn them into such.

“How will our children study medicine?”