About 40% of Health Graduates Fail to Pass Proficiency Exams

ADDIS ABEBA – At least 39 percent of graduates in the field of health have failed to pass the competency exams, ministry of health said on Wednesday.

Over 10,480 graduates sat for the first-ever Health Professional Licensing Examinations held from July 8 to July 16, 2019.

They were fresh graduates of seven fields from 93 public and private health institutions at the end of the 2018/19 academic year.

The exam was aimed at certifying the newly graduated health graduates while assessing the quality of health education, said Dr. Ruth Nigatu, proficiency examination director at the ministry.

Health Professional Licensing Examinations were given to graduates in the field of medical doctor, nurses, anesthesia, pharmacy, public health, medical laboratory, midwifery, according to the director.

About 96 fresh graduates in the medical doctor sat for the exam. Over 84 percent of them have passed the proficiency exam, says the ministry.

Ruth said, “In most of the fields, public university graduates have got better results comparing to the private college’s graduates”.

75 percent of 2099 nursing graduates from public universities have passed the exam. But only 38 percent of 1829 nursing graduates from private health schools managed to pass the licensing exam.

In the field of public health officers, 68 percent of graduates of public universities (from 1596) scored high result while merely 15 percent health officer graduates from private institutions (from 944) have passed the exam.

The director did not clarify the reason for the inconsistency between public and private health colleges.

She, however, said the ministry will work with the private institutions to upgrade their quality of education.

Ruth has indicated that the examination process has been conducted “with good care” and graduates who have passed the proficiency exam will get proficiency license.

Those who have failed to pass the exam will take the exam again in November.

Graduates can now see their results at

By Sisay Sahlu