Medical Students in China Face Deportation

ABOUT 11 Namibians studying in China face deportation if the government does not come to their rescue by the end of September.

All the students are studying medicine at the Liaoning Medical University.Some of the students who refused to be named, spoke to The Namibian from their hostels in Jinzhou province in China through Whatsup messaging, and said although they went to China on their own, they took the risk for the country because it has a medical shortage.

The Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) has a new resolution which was released last year that they will only fund medical students who have 35 points and above and they were not going to fund China any longer.

In an email sent to some students from NSFAF, students have been informed that their loan applications were unsuccessful.

“This is due to the fact that in 2013 already the Board took a resolution not to fund medical related studies in China, more especially undergraduate programmes,” the email read.

The students however feel that the resolution is not fair as they had applied for their loans before the resolution.

“When we left our jobs we were promised that we will get loans because our university was recognised. We are stressed now because our parents are pensioners and they aren’t able to help us, and we cannot get loans from elsewhere,” said the students.

The concerned students said they paid for the first year themselves. They are all now in their second year of study, but their visa’s will be cancelled at the end of September if they don’t pay.

“We appeal to NSFAF to look into this matter seriously because we are lost. We took the risk of coming to study for our nation,” pleaded the students.

However, the fund’s secretary and manager of corporate communications Fillemon Wise Immanuel said the new resolution that was released early 2013 said it will not fund students with less then 35 points.

Immanuel said most of those that went to study outside are trying to get a short cut because they could not meet the requirements of local institutions such as Unam, Polytechnic and IUM.

“If they do not meet these institutions’ requirements, they automatically don’t meet NSFAF’s as well,” he said.

“We are not paying for people with less then 35 points. The next thing you will hear would be people with 14 points studying for medicine at a certain university,” Immanuel emphasised.

He said the fund is also willing to pay for courses that are not necessary offered locally, as long as people meet the requirements.

“If they have excelled in their studies, their performance will justify why government has to spend money on them,” Immanuel said.

Meanwhile, in June this year, the health ministry’s permanent secretary Andrew Ndishishi was quoted saying the country has an acute shortage of health professionals in all medical fields, and in July health minister Richard Kamwi said more than 30 district hospitals in the country do not have a single Namibian doctor or pharmacist employed by the government, hence the country’s reliance on expatriates.

“In over 30 district hospitals, we don’t have a single Namibian doctor or pharmacist employed by the Namibian government. We are experiencing a shortage of skilled personnel in our country. Here we are talking about experts in the field of public health,” said Kamwi.

In 2008 the health ministry confirmed that foreigners were in charge of 32 of Namibia’s 34 State hospitals, the only exceptions being the Katutura State and Windhoek Central hospitals in the capital.

Source : The Namibian