The PF regime has increased by more than 500% the weekly fees medical students on industrial attachments are required to pay.
The ministry of health under the leadership of presidential hopeful Chitalu Chilufya imposed the attachment fees in 2017 saying the charges will help hospitals meet costs of training medical students.
Medical doctors have been paying K174 but this has been increased to K1000 per week per student. Student Nurses and midwives will now be required to pay K500 to the ministry of health every week. They were paying K70 or K50 per week depending on whether they were pursuing a degree or diploma. Clinical officers will now pay to the ministry K500 from the previous K93 and K152 depending on level of course.
The new fees have been backdated to January 2019 and affects students from both government and private colleges.
While the purported reason for the fees is to assist hospitals meet costs, these fees will be deposited into a general account and will not even be channeled to the Hospitals.
Attached is the memo signed by the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Health.
For people like minister Chitalu Chilufya who loot government coffers everyday, these are small, affordable amounts, but to millions of Zambians, this is a matter of life and death and many will drop out of colleges for failing to pay these huge fees.