Quality Healthcare Begins with HEIs – Ministry of Health

Ministry of Health Acting Permanent Secretary – Technical Services, Dr. Alex Makupe, has charged that the delivery of quality healthcare begins with what Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) produce.

Dr. Makupe stated that instituting anything in healthcare institutions cannot be done unless it started from the time healthcare workers were being trained.

“Quality training is vital, and it should not be overtaken by ‘what we can raise to sustain ourselves’,” Dr. Makupe stated, in reference to HEIs taking in more students and offering more learning programmes than they have the capacity to handle, specifically referring to the lecturer-student ratio.

Dr. Makupe said this on Thursday, 2nd February, 2023, at Kenneth Kaunda International Conference Centre (KKICC) when he gave the keynote speech at the consultative meeting organised by HPCZ to consult with the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and HEIs offering health programmes in Zambia. However, these excluded HEIs offering health programmes that fall under the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Zambia (NMCZ).

In the Zambia Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance, HEA recommends the maximum lecturer-student ratio for each learning programme to be 1:50. However, exceptions can be made for courses taken by all students in a school or across schools. For such, the Authority recommends that the HEI ensures that it provides sufficient tutors for tutorials and has e-learning.

The Acting Permanent Secretary concluded his remarks by noting the importance of reflecting on the numbers being produced from HEIs offering health. He stated that quality over quantity was paramount and should come into play.

Members of the Media listened to the keynote address by Dr. Makupe.