The Health Professions Council of Zambia (HPCZ) has cancelled the entire September 2023 professional licensure examinations with immediate effect following security breach.
ZANIS reports that HPCZ Chief Executive Officer, Fastone Goma disclosed that the decision was arrived at after more investigations were carried out following claims from whistle blowers which revealed an escalation of security breach.
Prof. Goma explained that the level of malpractice has the potential to instigate widespread doubt in the credibility and value of the licensure examinations.
Speaking at a press briefing in Lusaka, Prof. Goma reiterated the Council’s assurance and commitment to enhance security controls to prevent a repeat of breach.
“We regret to announce that the September 2023 HPCZ professional licensure examinations have been cancelled with immediate effect, including the practical examinations which were to commence next week Monday,” he said.
He noted that different papers will be administered using an electronic system as a measure to stop malpractice as candidates sit for the licensure examinations.
Prof. Goma urged candidates not to panic as they will be updated on the new road map for the examinations in due course.
He stated that HPCZ will revisit its protocols to protect quality assurance examinations, stressing the importance attached to patient safety.
Prof. Goma further said steps are being taken to ensure only qualified and adequately skilled health professionals are distributed in health facilities to treat patients and mitigate influences that inhibit efficiency in the workforce.
He indicated that priority has been given for investigations to be carried out and ensure culprits are brought to book.
Dr. Goma said he hopes that investigations are carried out in the next six weeks.
“Investigations into the malpractice have progressed as we are working with government agencies and law enforcement officers to establish the source of the breach,” he disclosed.
Prof. Goma noted that the health profession is very sensitive and no chances should be taken to Jeopardise the integrity of the sector, thereby ensuring zero tolerance to malpractice.
He added that the Council has engaged the Ministry of Health to ensure the amendment of the Health Professionals Act so that more ground is given for HPCZ to work with health training institutions to enhance professionalism.