The Rauf Aregbesola administration will sponsor 98 clinical students of the College of Medicine of the Osun State University (UNIOSUN) to complete their medical studies in the Karazin University in Ukraine.
Governor Rauf Aregbesola broke the news in Osogbo, the state capital, at the weekend at a meeting with Concerned Parents of Medical Students of the university.
He said the two-year programme would cost the state government about N146 million.
The governor added that his administration would foot the bills for the programme.
Aregbesola said the government was offering the scholarships to the third, fourth and fifth year students, because there is no accredited teaching hospital in UNIOSUN, where they could be trained to become qualified medical practitioners.
Aregbesola’s deputy, Mrs Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori said the state government has contacted the university in Ukraine to absorb the students into the fourth year of their study.
They will spend only two years to become qualified doctors, she added.
She said the state would pay $3,500 tuition fees, air tickets of about $1,700, procurement of visa and invitation fees, accommodation, immigration services, medical tests and insurance as well as the cost for language training.
Mrs Laoye-Tomori said: “The cost for each student for the training is about $7,000. But the only cost that the parent would cater for is the money for feeding and upkeep of the students. It means the government will be parting with not less than N146 million for the two-year programme.
“The major problem for the students was the completion of their medical programmes as regards the issue of their clinical years. This is because for UNIOSUN to graduate the students as doctors, the students must have a teaching hospital that is accredited by the Nigerian Medical Council (NMC). Presently, that is not in place.
“The original suggestion from the university authority was for us to upgrade Asubiaro State Hospital into a teaching hospital. But to do that, it would cost over N1billion for us to graduate medical students, which we cannot afford now, considering other pressing programmes of the government.
“We also tried to use the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), but we also ran into a problem, because LAUTECH lost its accreditation. We tried some other Nigerian universities, specifically the University of Ibadan (UI) and the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU). But the problem they are facing is the problem of accreditation. This is because they can’t exceed the quota they are supposed to take for the clinical years.
“Having tried locally, we spread the tentacles outside Nigeria – to the United State (US), United Kingdom (UK), Belarus and Cuba. The costs of tuition for the training in those countries are astronomical.
“Subsequently, we got a favourable consideration from the Karazin University of Ukraine and to the glory of God, the government will be sponsoring those 98 students to Ukraine on scholarship.”
The Coordinator of the UNIOSUN Concerned Parents, Dr. Moses Adetumbi, hailed the government for the initiative.
He expressed the gratitude of the parents and students to Aregbesola and the state executive council (Exco).