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Gov't, private health institutions in row over students admission

By Moses Walubiri

Added 1st June 2017 05:01 PM

In February last year, ministry of education issued a circular to all principals of private and Government Health Training Institutes directing that admissions of students in health training institutions should be done in accordance with the directive in the circular.

Gov't, private health institutions in row over students admission

In February last year, ministry of education issued a circular to all principals of private and Government Health Training Institutes directing that admissions of students in health training institutions should be done in accordance with the directive in the circular.

A row between Ministry of education and private health training institutions over control of admissions for courses offered by the latter has sucked in parliament following a petition yesterday by Nwoya woman MP, Lilly Adong.

In February last year, ministry of education issued a circular to all principals of private and Government Health Training Institutes directing that admissions of students in health training institutions should be done in accordance with the directive in the circular.

The import of the directive was that all certificate courses should be admitted once a year in November while diploma programs once a year in May.

For the category of diploma through upgrading, ministry of education is seeking to limit applicants to only candidates that have worked for a minimum of two years with the applications channeled through their employers.

As for candidates seeking to pursue diploma courses directly from High School (A-level), ministry of education wants applications to be handled by Joint Admission Board - a government entity that handles admissions to higher institutions of learning.

"The directive was issued when the health training institutes had made preparations for admissions including acquiring loans from banks to enable them carry out infrastructural development," Adong told the House.

Although its more than a year since the ministry of education issued the impugned circular, the private health training institutions aver that no sufficient notice has been given by government to enable them adjust accordingly.

The private health institutions and faith based health training institutions want implementation of the directive to be suspended for two or five years.

As of last month, MPs heard, over 3000 students had been admitted by these institutions and that they risk financial ruin if government sticks to its guns.

In case government declines to cede an inch over its directive, private health institutions want government to bail out such institutions that would be grossly affected financially by the directive.

When contacted, ministry of education spokesperson, Patrick Muyinda, could neither confirm nor deny the existence of the government directive since he was out of office.

With one of the highest doctor to patient ration anywhere in the world, enrolled midwives and nurses are the nerve center of Uganda's healthcare system.

In rural areas in particular, nurses and midwives are the only health care personnel that interface with majority of patients.

However, there has been concern about the quality of healthcare personnel being churned out by institutes - especially private, that offer health related programs

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