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$10,000 for MBBS is appropriate: Sayed-Khaiyum

August 20, 2021 5:10 am

The Minister for Economy says under Fiji’s current economic circumstance the $10,000 one-off payment for MBBS students is appropriate.

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum was responding to National Federation Party MP Lenora Qereqeretabua who asked if this amount is sufficient given that students have worked hard to attain a Toppers Scholarship which has been put on hold.

In his response, Sayed-Khaiyum says the decision to hold the awarding of Toppers for MBBS students was made on the basis that the Ministry of Health would have 1,005 doctors in the country by the end of the last financial year.

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He says this meets the World Health Organizations benchmark equivalent to one per 1,000 populations.

Sayed-Khaiyum adds the government will continue to monitor the current situation to see what further support can be given.

“We did say that in the event government is able to provide some financial support we would actually do so, and the honorable member does know that government revenue is still very constraint because the fact the borders is still close.”

Sayed-Khaiyum says $12 million has been committed to the Ministry of Health to cater for 140 medical interns who have recently graduated.

He highlights by the end of this year, Fiji is expected to have 1,172 doctors.

Students who will be assisted need to enroll for MMBS this year, attain a Year 13 aggregate score of 340 or more, their first accumulative GPA must be 3.0 or more and pass the Means Test.

Sayed-Khaiyum says the combined income per annum by both parents should be lower than $100,000 per annum.

The Minister adds that the assistance is targeted to help those within the low-income brackets.

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