Government’s plans to attract more qualified doctors to the five regions of the north has started bearing fruits in the Upper East Region, Dr Winfred Ofosu, Upper East Regional Director of the Ghana Health Services (GHS), has said.
Among some of the government’s interventions to attract newly posted qualified doctors to the five regions include incentive package such as quick promotion, accommodation and granting of quick study leave, among others.
As a result of these interventions, Dr Ofosu said, the number of qualified doctors being posted by the government to the Upper East Region was increasing steadily, adding that currently the region had about 35 doctors providing quality healthcare to the people.
The Regional Director stated that some time ago the region could only boast of five or six doctors, but now the trend had changed, and praised the government for the innovation.
Dr Ofosu made the disclosure in an interview with the Ghanaian Times on Friday at a dissemination forum organised in Bolgatanga to showcase the successes of the Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) focusing on the Life-course Approach (CHPS for Life Project) in northern Ghana.
The forum jointly organised by the GHS and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) involving managers of the GHS drawn from the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions was on the theme, “Project for Strengthening Community-Based Health Planning and Services focusing on the Life-course Approach in the Upper West, Upper East and Northern Regions (CHPS for Life Project).”
He said with the doctors now accepting posting to the region influenced greatly by the incentive package — quick promotion, accommodation, granting of quick study leave — the myth that the region was very remote had been broken since more doctors are coming to the area.
The Regional Director indicated that newly trained doctors who accepted posting to the five regions of the north including, the Northern, Savannah, North East, Upper East and Upper West regions, stand to acquire more practical training than those in the southern sector, and entreated them to take advantage of that.
Dr Ofosu who stressed that the five regions of the north, especially the Upper East Region, was very virgin for professionals and economic growth, said the decentralisation of the appointment process of doctors and other health professionals to the regional level was also a reason for attracting the newly qualified doctors and other health professionals.
He said the Regional Coordinating Council was also encouraging all the Municipal and District Assemblies in the region to help provide accommodation for health professionals, which they were actively doing.
FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, BOLGATANGA