Dr. Margaret Mungherera Vice chairperson of Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council (UMDPC) came to the defense of KIU, saying it produces some of the ‘best doctors in the country.’
PIC: The vice chairperson Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council, Dr Margaret Mungherera speaking during a press briefing held at Fairway Hotel in Kampala on Friday 9, 2016. Photos/ Shamim Saad.
Dr. Jane Aceng, the minister for health, has revealed that she doubts the ability of Kampala International University (KIU) medical school to produce medical doctors.
The minister made the revelations while addressing the Parliamentary committee on health on recently.
"The ministry of health doubts some medical schools such as that of Kampala International University (KIU) which admit students with one principal pass. They are taking people with one principal pass," the minister said. The minimum requirement for admission to university in Uganda is two principal passes.
The comments will further fan the suspicion that university falls short as a higher institution of learning.
The university owned by controversial businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba in 2013 had the award of PhDs rejected by National Council of Higher Education for failing to adhere to good governance principles.
A year earlier, the competence of graduates of the university had been queried by Kenyan government which said the qualifications might not be not be good.
However, Dr. Margaret Mungherera Vice chairperson of Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council (UMDPC) came to the defense of KIU, saying it produces some of the ‘best doctors in the country.'
While addressing Journalists at Fairway Hotel in Kampala Mungherera said "In April we inspected KIU and they are working according to our requirements with a training hospital at Ishaka and qualified lecturers we recommended."
Dr. Mungherera added that UMDPC is satisfied with the kind of work KIU medical school has done in the East African region.
"Uganda is working below the minimum World Health Organization (WHO) demands of 1:25,000 doctor to patients' ratio which the country would not provide with few medical schools." Mungherera added.
Uganda has a challenge of limited medical doctors at government hospitals which has been attributed to few medical schools in the country.
Uganda has only four governments owned universities and three privately owned medical schools that are producing doctors in the country.
Mungherera advised Ministry of health to use of the pre-internship exams to determine medical schools that are producing substandard doctors.
KIU Vice Chancellor, Dr. Mouhamad Mpezamihigo, said that the minister's allegations are intended to malice his institution something he will not allow.
"We demand the minister to clarify on the allegations she made on our medical school. KIU is a reputable institution with many students across Africa," Mpezamihigo said.
Mpezamihigo added the Ministry of Health (MoH) has admitted intern students from KIU at government hospitals for long and therefore asked why the health minister would doubt the medical students.
"We have students at Mulago Hospital and they are doing well with several others at different health institutions. Why would the minister say such lies?" Mpezamihigo asked.
KIU deputy vice Chancellor western campus Prof. Patrick Kyamanwa, said MOH should let regulatory bodies like National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) to determine substandard institutions.
"It's amusing that the health minister gave such accusations yet her regulatory bodies like Uganda Medical and Dental practitioners Council(UMDPC) have accredited KIU for such courses, "Kyamanwa said.
Kyamanwa called for leveled ground on inspection of all universities in the country than putting more emphasis on private universities.
"Government universities should be inspected like private institutions .They could be producing substandard doctors," Kyamanwa said.
In recent weeks there were media reports that KIU, UCU, Agha khan and International Health Sciences University (IHSU) were admitting Bachelors in nursing students with one principal pass which they denied.
This came following the decline by Uganda Nursing and Midwives Council (UNMC) to register several graduates who enrolled for a bachelor's degree from these institutions.