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Some health practitioners using Google to treat patients

By MICHAEL MIYOBA

The Health Professions Council of Zambia (HPCZ) has disclosed that there is a high level of professional misconduct in the health sector with some practitioners solely relying on internet sources like google for information on how to diagnose or treat patients.

HPCZ Chief Executive Officer, Professor Faston Goma said the misconduct from some health practitioners has compelled HPCZ to introduce the Professional Licensure Examinations (LEx) which takes effect this year.

HPCZ is set to conduct the Professional Licensure Examinations (LEx) of this year from February 20 to March 3.

Prof Goma warned that for any professional to get on the HPCZ register, they will need to pass the LEx that seek to assess both locally and foreign trained individuals on minimum knowledge, skills and competences required for practice in any health facility within Zambia.

“High levels of professional misconduct have been exhibited by some practitioners due to lack of knowledge of the profession in which they were purportedly trained, some of them were solely relying on internet sources like google for information on how to diagnose or treat patients,” Prof Goma said.

He said HPCZ is interested in ensuring quality of health care service provision through LEx which is one of the different mechanisms used to provide quality health care.

“We will not register any health graduate to practice in Zambia until they have undergone Licensure Examinations and met the required Pass Mark of 50 percent,” Prof Goma said.

“I must warn the medical graduates from UNZA School of Medicine who have been making a lot of noise of late about this particular matter. They may be guilty of misconduct that may preclude them from sitting for the upcoming Lex,” he said

Prof Goma said there is noncompliance among training institutions to standards provided in the curriculum.

He said the influx of foreign trained graduates coming to register in Zambia was another reason for the reintroduction of Professional Licensure Examinations.

“You may wish to know that some of them could not qualify for registration in their home country and that is why HPCZ needed to assess their competences and knowledge when compared to the Zambian system.

Meanwhile, Prof Goma has warned the supervisors of the health facilities against hiding malpractice.

He said HPCZ will keep a close eye on the training processes and will sit on all Boards of Examiners of the training institutions to monitor assessment processes and ultimate certification.

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