The Health Professions Council of Zambia (HPCZ) has revealed that a thorough preliminary investigation has uncovered a breach in the theory examination papers for Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) and Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm) as part of the ongoing Professional Licensure Examinations (LEX).
In an official statement, Professor Fastone Goma, the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of HPCZ, announced that as a result, the MBChB examination held on Monday, September 18, 2023, has been declared null and void. A new theory paper will be prepared for the 519 affected medical candidates, who will sit for the exam either in Lusaka or Copperbelt Province on Wednesday, September 27, 2023.
Furthermore, the practical examination (OSCE) will proceed as scheduled on Thursday, September 28, 2023, as previously communicated.
Regarding the 203 Pharmacy candidates who were slated to take the LEX at 09:00 hrs on Tuesday, September 19, 2023, HPCZ canceled the examination shortly after it began due to the discovery of a paper leak. The affected candidates were dismissed, and an alternative examination paper was printed and administered on the same day in the afternoon.
Professor Goma explained that the decision and the process of replacing the Pharmacy theory paper will undergo scrutiny during an extraordinary meeting of the Training and Examination Committee of the HPCZ Council on Thursday, September 21, 2023. A final decision on whether to nullify or uphold the Pharmacists’ examination will be communicated thereafter.
Furthermore, Professor Goma disclosed that nine staff members who had a technical role in organizing the examination have been suspended with immediate effect, in accordance with the Health Professions Council of Zambia Disciplinary Code and Grievance Procedure. This suspension is intended to facilitate a thorough investigation into the matter. Any staff members found to be at fault may face dismissal.
Candidates involved in the incident will be charged with unethical behavior and may face sanctions, including exclusion from sitting the LEX and a subsequent ban from registration to practice.
Professor Goma assured all stakeholders that the Council is committed to upholding the highest standards and is taking this matter seriously to protect the integrity of the Licensure Examinations and uphold ethical standards in the profession.
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