Medical Students to Sit Pre-entry Exams for Internship

Police officers block a procession of medical students in Kampala from proceeding to Parliament last week (Photos by Nixon Segawa)

Medical interns are to begin sitting pre-qualification exams before being deployed for their internship training, abortion a Ministry of Health official has said Tuesday morning. This is to enable government to improve the quality of human resource in health facilities across Uganda.

Prof. Anthony Mbonye the Director General of Health Service at the Ministry of Health expressed concerned over the huge number of medical students graduating each year majority of whom he says are under skilled.

“Ten years ago, cost we used to get about 200 interns in the whole of Uganda. Currently, try the number of interns stands at 10,010. Government gives us only money to train 350 which implies that we have limited space, time, supervisors and budget for the interns we now have,” he said.

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“We are going to begin giving students pre-entry exams before they go for their internship. This way, we shall be able to sponsor only those who qualify.”

This development comes a week after medical interns across Uganda protested failure to be facilitated by government as well as poor working conditions.

In response to this, Prof. Mbonye said; the limited budget for very many students is what has often caused delays. There are many institutions training medical personnel but several of these don’t have the capacity.”

“One university that I won’t mention produces 500 graduates annually. How do they manage to ably train this huge number?”

It should be noted that in the same week that interns held demonstrations, close to 10,000 nurses from six universities were rejected by Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council due to lack of required skills.

While some have argued that Uganda’s health sector suffers high levels of understaffing, Prof. Mbonye said 70 percent of the health facilities are fully staffed adding that “the situation is not as bad as people portray it”.


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