Medical students to sit national exams before serving the public

Health officials meeting Parliamentary Committee on Health in Kampala, yesterday.

All medical graduates will be made to write a special national exam before they go out to serve the public, a meeting revealed yesterday.

The meeting that comprised Parliament’s Health Committee and officials from the Ministry of Health and Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council said that the move is intended to ensure the safety of patients in the country.

The Registrar of Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council, Dr Katumba Ssentongo said that once the proposal is approved, an examination board will be introduced to evaluate medical and dental students at the end of their 5th year before they start their clinical practice.

The doctor heaped the blame of the half-baked medical students on universities’ medical schools that admit large number of students into the medical and dental schools yet without the required ample space, equipment and medical lecturers.

“This has not been popular with many medical schools. However, we believe this is the way to go.”

“We state that since we are not satisfied with the level of training in internship, there should be another exam they must sit before they are released to the general public,” Dr Ssentongo said.

Asking the parliamentary committee to back the proposal, Dr Ssentongo said that the national examination will force proprietors of medical schools to institute paraphernalia and revamp the teaching staff.

“Safety is a major determinant of a practice of a doctor and we want to be sure that they can present this in an efficient and effective manner,” he added.

The meeting was also attended by State Minister for Primary Health Care, Joyce Moriku Kaducu who said the move will eliminate incompetent medical practitioners whose number, the ministry says is on the rise.

This development came at the high heels when Jinja Regional Referral Hospital came under fire after a baby lost a limb in a botched caesarean section purportedly performed by intern doctors.

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