Anxiety grips medical schools over inspection

Medical practitioners and Dentists Board CEO Daniel Yumbya.
Panic has gripped local colleges offering medical courses following a planned inspection by a joint team of regulators drawn from the East Africa Community (EAC) member states.

Those that fail to comply with new standards set by EAC team risk closure among other drastic measures.

The inspection, which begins next month, will look into compliance in governance and management, academic programmes, human resource, research, innovation and infrastructure among others listed as minimum requirements as agreed by the EAC states.

This is in line with a directive issued during the 19th ordinary meeting of the EAC Sectoral Council of Ministers of Health in Nairobi last year. The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council is leading the operation.

Yesterday, the Council CEO Daniel Yumbya said after a similar operation in Uganda that ended this week, Kenya was next in March, followed by Rwanda and Burundi in April.

“We will be looking into many areas including the students to lecturers ratio in medical colleges, both private and government-owned,” Mr Yumbya said yesterday, adding: “Any institution that falls short of expectations will be shut. There will be no sacred cows,” he said.

He regretted that ill-equipped medical colleges have been short-changing students and predisposing Kenyans to medical malpractices. “This operation will continue until we rid the sector of non-compliant colleges.”

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The inspectors will interact with managers of colleges, the teaching staff and the students during the exercise.

In Uganda, four top colleges that did not meet the minimum requirements were closed.

A report of the meeting after the inspection in Uganda which has been titled, “3rd Joint EAC Inspection of New and Existing Medical and Dental schools” recommended that Uganda Christian University School of Medicine be closed down for not meeting the required standards.

Makerere University School of Dentistry and St Augustine International University were also directed to suspend further admission of students after the inspection established that it does not proper equipment and infrastructure to continue training students.

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