Govt to make postgraduate medical training free

Dr Addo Kufuor (second from left)  being assisted by Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu (second right) and Dr Frank Ankobea(third from left) to cut the Anniversary cake

Dr Addo Kufuor (second from left) being assisted by Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu (second right) and Dr Frank Ankobea(third from left) to cut the Anniversary cake

The Minister of Health,Kwaku Agyeman Manu, says government will soon take over the expenditure for the postgraduate training of medical doctors in the country.

This, he said, was part of the government’s effort to ensure that Ghana attains Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and improve the low doctor to patient ratio.

Speaking at the launch of the 60th anniversary celebration of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) in Accra on Wednesday, he added that the health sector was presently confronted with inadequate infrastructure and equipment which needed urgent attention.

Mr. Agyeman Manu also mentioned that the government was likely to pay arrears from the latter parts of 2016 and the whole of 2017 to the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) by the end of June, barring any unforeseen circumstance.

He said the government, after clearing its debts to the scheme, would demand transparency and accountability on the funds generated internally from the public health facilities.

The minster stated that the government was confronted with a huge task in its attempts to expand the NHIS to cover the treatment of all illness due to the high cost of treating non-communicable diseases, which were on the increase among the population.,

Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa, a former Pathologist at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital said there was the need to create more public awareness on the non-communicable diseases, and urged doctors to get closer to patients and encourage them to check their health status and adopt healthy lifestyles.

He observed that the NHIS, which was instituted to cater for 15 per cent on the health cost of the public, “is now over stretched and must be revised”.

Dr. Kwame Addo-Kufuor, a former president of the GMA, tasked members of the association to engage the universities to conduct scientific surveys to enable them effectively access their services to the public, and also suggested that doctors wear their white coats with name tags when attending to patients to enable the patients know who they were dealing with.

He said a recent survey conducted on doctors indicated that some doctors were inpatient, unfriendly, and intolerant with patients, adding that “the survey further revealed doctors discriminate against patients based on their social class, while some doctors do not report to work early or are often not at post”

The immediate past president of the GMA, Dr Ebenezer Ewusi-Emmim said the GMA’s 60th anniversary would be marked with medical outreach programmes, conferences, public lectures among others, saying that, ”the anniversary celebration would focus on four thematic areas — quality health care, medical education, healthcare financing, and healthy and productive workforce.”

The yearlong anniversary is being celebrated on the theme, “The Role of GMS in Healthcare: 60 Years On”.

By Linda Naa Deide Aryeetey

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