About 100 out of the initial 187 students who expressed their desire to continue their education in Ghana have successfully been placed in at least one of the country’s seven medical schools.
The number formed part of the over 900 Ghanaian Medical students from Ukraine whose education got truncated due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The decision to integrate the students into local medical schools was contained in the yet to be submitted report of the 13-member Inter-ministerial Committee put together to come out with modalities to integrate these students into Ghanaian universities to continue their studies.
Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, the chairman of the committee, who disclosed this to the media in Accra last Wednesday, said the committee had successfully completed its work and would soon submit its report to the Minister of Education.
He explained that even though the window of opportunity was offered to all the over 900 affected students; less than 200 of them decided to take advantage of it.
Dr Nsiah-Asare said, out of 187 students who initially expressed interest in the integration process, only 121 registered to take part in an assessment organised by the Medical and Dental Council.
He noted that out of the registered number, 101 availed themselves for assessment, stressing that “We’ve placed the students in first year level 100, level 200, level 300, level 400 and level 500.
We didn’t place anybody in level 600 because the arrangement or the course structure in Ukraine for level 600 is quite different from the course structure in Ghana,” he said.
However, he noted that one student was not placed in any of the universities due to the fact that even though he started as a medical student in Ukraine, he decided to change course after the third year.
“He actually wanted to take advantage of the window of opportunity given but upon thorough assessment of his documents, it was realised that he abandoned medicine for economics, I think after the third year,” he said.
Dr Nsiah-Asare who is also the Special Advisor to the President on Health, justified the Ghana Medical and Dental Council’s decision not to recognise certificates issued to students who conducted their studies via online.
The Council, on Monday, September 26, 2022, said it would not recognise degree certificates issued by Medical and Dental Schools from Ukraine citing inappropriate training processes.
The Council explained that, that was not in accordance with the required training process as it threatened the quality and credence of the profession.
Dr Nsiah-Asare explained that it was wrong to allow persons who had not gone through the required training process to practice as medical and dental officers.
“In medicine, especially in clinical medicine, I am a doctor so I can say it, you cannot say that you’ve done online course for the rest of your clinical courses and so you are a doctor. I don’t think you will allow anybody who has done online courses alone to come and see you,” he said.
I know that some people are comparing that because of AI, people are even doing virtual surgeries and all those things, but that person has trained as a doctor, he has done postgraduate training and gone to do specialised training as a robotic surgeon…, but not just straight from medical school and you say that you’ve finished your medical school online.
I don’t think you will allow such a doctor to see you. So, we are guarding the profession and protecting the public. The Medical and Dental Council guards the profession and protects the public,” he empahsised.
Philip Bobbie-Ansah, President of the NUGS-Ukraine, attributed the failure of many of the qualified and interested students to participate in the assessment exercise to their inability to afford plane tickets to Ghana as well as the short notice of the exercise.
The NUGS-Ukraine president appealed to the Council to give opportunity to students who still wanted to take advantage of the offer, to do so.
“I have made a plea to the Registrar of the GMC that if possible, already, we’ve done the assessment, and the structures are already there.
BY CLIFF EKUFUL