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Sponsored Medical Students to pay part of their fees

February 18, 2016 7:00 pm

Post Graduate Medical students will have to fork out for part of their fees as of this year.

The Health Ministry which until last year covered all tuition costs says it doesn’t have enough money.

About fifty doctors studying post graduate medicine won’t be fully sponsored by the Health Ministry after annual fees went up from $9,500 to fifteen and a half thousand dollars.

Minister Jone Usamate says the doctors will have to pay the additional forty percent.

“Well obviously there is always a need for us, we always want to train more specialist people to get there master’s programme but there a limitation of funds that we have available so that why this has come in. We’ve had some issues in the past with trying to develop doctors and it’s a matter of trying to get as many people trained as possible within the funding that we have. And that is the reason for having to come up with this strategy, the Ministry to pay 60 percent and 40 percent to be met by those that are taking up this specialist training.”

Post Graduate fees were increased in 2013 and the ministry has continued to sustain this for the last 3 years – but Usamate says it’s taking away from more critical areas in the Health sector.

Medical Students Association President, Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete says this is a challenge to young doctors who will in the end come back to the public health sector.

Fiji National University Chancellor Iqbal Jannif has opted not to comment as the matter needs to be discussed between the ministry and the post graduate students.