The Higher Education Authority (HEA) has overturned the Health Professionals Council of Zambia’s decision to ban two medical courses at the Copperbelt University.

On Friday, HPCZ directed CBU to discontinue offering the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery and Bachelor of Dental Surgery programmes on account that the institution lacked capacity to produce high quality health practitioners.

But in a statement today, HEA Director General Professor Stephen Simukanga directed CBU to continue running the programmes, saying the authority was the custodian of all higher education institutions in Zambia.

“The Higher Education Authority (HEA) has directed the Copperbelt University (CBU) to continue running the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery and Bachelor of Dental Surgery Learning Programmes at the Higher Education Institution (HEI) until further notice. As mandated by the Higher Education Act No. 4 of 2013 and Statutory Instrument No. 25 of 2016, HEA is the custodian of all HEIs in Zambia, be it public or private, and has the authority to accredit Learning Programmes at these HEIs,” Prof Simukanga stated.

He stated that the deficiencies at CBU did not warrant banning the institution from offering the courses.

“For this reason, in May 2018, the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery and Bachelor of Dental Surgery Learning Programmes at CBU were audited by experts acting on behalf of HEA for purposes of accreditation. Preliminary findings of the audit indicated that the Learning Programmes had areas that needed improvement. Following the findings, HEA began a process of guiding CBU in thoroughly addressing the Learning Programmes’ deficiencies and had asked the HEI to develop an implementation plan over a period of not more than one year. This was expertly deemed as a sufficient period of time in which to rectify all of the Learning Programmes’ deficiencies,” stated Prof Simukanga.

“Moreover, as it was expertly determined that the shortcomings of the Learning Programmes did not warrant the closure of Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery and Bachelor of Dental Surgery Learning Programmes as “continuous improvement” of these Learning Programmes is instituted, CBU shall continue providing these Learning Programmes while they address the shortcomings that have been identified.”

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