66 Medical Doctors Stranded After Training

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Some 64 medical doctors from the University for Development Studies (UDS), who completed their training last September, are stranded, The Herald has gathered.

The stranded doctors, were inducted into the profession last year November 12, 2016, but sources tell this paper, the Medical and Dental Council, which is responsible for their Housemanship posting, is yet to do so six months after completing.

Additionally, there are two other trained doctors from the University of Cape Coast (UCC), bringing the number to 66, who are loitering about when it is said that Ghana’s doctor to patient ratio is still unimaginably precarious.

Newly built health facilities are without the required number of health experts, including nurses, laboratory technicians among others.

The 2015 revised Guidelines of the Medical and Dental Council covering induction and commencement of Housemanship states that, “it is mandatory for all doctors who qualify from the Medical and Dental Schools in Ghana to commence their Housemanship within two months after the release of results of the final examination unless otherwise determined by the Council”.

After 60 years of independence, it is said that one doctor takes care of 10, 450 patients instead of at most, one doctor to 5, 000 as recommended by the Commonwealth or one doctor to 1, 320 as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

But strangely, the doctors alleged that their counterparts from the University of Ghana Medical School (UGMS), Legon, including some foreign trained ones have been posted.

They attributes the posting of the UGMS to a special arrangement the School, has with the Medical and Dental Council; a privilege the UDS does not have.

The rules and regulations states among others that “any doctor who does not start the Housemanship within the mandatory period (two months) may be required to retake the Council’s registration examination unless otherwise determined by the Council”.

Meanwhile, the government has given the go-ahead for the recruitment of nurses and other health professionals, who were granted financial clearance in December 2016.

In a statement released by the health ministry, it said that they have satisfied all necessary checks and therefore asked that the recruitment exercise resumes.

“The honourable minister of health has granted approval for the recruitment of trainees and other health professionals who were granted financial clearance in December 2016 in line with the regional ceilings,” the statement said.

All regional directors of health have therefore been asked to begin the process of recruiting the professionals in line with their respective regional ceilings.

The recruitment exercise for the over 8000 health workers was halted in February over concerns regarding the financial clearance.

The Government of Ghana in February, suspended the recruitment of over eight thousand (8000) health workers into the various health facilities in the country.

A letter signed by the Minister of Health Kweku Agyeman-Manu gave this directive. The letter clarified that the suspension was to allow the ministry fix all issues with financial clearance before they are hired.

“The suspension is not a cancellation but to allow the Ministry of Health to finalise all issues related to financial clearance. Kindly take steps to inform all your officers accordingly. You will be duly informed as soon as the final clearance is granted.”

But the new statement released by the Health ministry Monday, March 20, said the necessary checks have been made and the recruitment exercise should resume.

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