Health ministry wants payment for internships, UTech students stalled
It appears a new requirement by the health ministry that it be paid to host interns is stalling the training of environmental health students at the University of Technology (UTech).
Students in the university’s Bachelor of Science programme have expressed concern they might not finish in time to graduate this year as their internship, which should have started on January 12, is yet to begin.
In a letter to the trainee public health inspectors on January 14, head of the School of Public Health & Health Technology, Professor Winston Davidson, explained the reasons for the delay.
He said the uncertainty of the internship programme is based on the fact that the Ministry of Health has issued a new policy governing the use of its clinical facilities for internship by training institutions.
Professor Davidson says UTech has been informed that the ministry will no longer pay a salary or stipend or any other allowance to interns.
In fact, he says the ministry will now be requiring the training institution to pay it for hosting each intern.
In addition, the training institution will be required to sign a contract with the Regional Health Authority before any student is assigned to a region for internship.
Professor Davidson says the School of Public Health and Health Technology met with the Ministry on December 11 last year and requested a stay in the implementation of the new policy.
He says the ministry promised to examine the request and reply, but to date no response has been received.
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