The Medical and Dental Council (MDC) has begun its policy that makes it impossible for trained doctors to sit the mandatory registration examination for licensing after five attempts.
This forms part of policy reforms in line with the council’s professional regulatory best practices, to ensure that all doctors working in Ghana meet the minimum competency standards, and help provide quality healthcare in the country.
The Registrar of the MDC, Dr Divine N. Banyubala, in an interview with the Ghanaian Times, said until the implementation of the policy, there were no limit to the number of times a trained doctor or dentist could sit for the MDC’s examination to obtain a licence before practising in Ghana.
The council, he said, undertook the policy reform after extensive consultative engagement in fulfillment of the council’s objective, to ensure that basic and pre-registration training of medical and dental practitioners were in accordance with international regulatory best practice.
DrBanyubalasaid the MDC had planned to enforce the policy because it was the statutory agency under the Ministry of Health responsible for the regulation of the training and practice of medicine and dentistry in Ghana.
“The council seeks to secure in the public interest, the highest standards in the training and practice of medicine and dentistry for the public good,” he said.
DrBanyubala said the MDC was mandated by law, to assess facilities,contents of training programmes and conduct examinations for the registration of practitioners, among others.
He expressed worry that some Ghanaianmedical students were admitted into foreign medical schools with bad grades, adding that “Some of the jurisdictions where such medical and dental training institutions operate include Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and China.”
DrBanyubala said a review of the poor performance of candidates indicated that some of the foreign medical schools admitted students with poor West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) results while others had a poor knowledge in the basic sciences.
Also, he said, effective 2024, only candidates with science background with a minimum of a credit in all subjects from SSCE/WASSCE or equivalent would be eligible to sit the Council’s examinations.
“Applicants with a non-science background, would be required to undergo a preliminary course in biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics or related subjects for a period of two to three years before they would be admitted to a medical university to pursue medicine or dentistry after successful completion with a minimum grade of a credit in all the subjects”.
On the other hand, DrBanyubala said candidates not licensed in their country of training before sitting and passing the Council’s registration examination must complete a mandatory two-year housemanship before undertaking specialist training in any discipline of their choice.
Effective October 2022, the Registrar mentioned that all candidates seeking to register for the council’s registration examination would be required to submit for verification the original or certified true copies of their academic certificates including SSCE/WASSCE or equivalent.
According to Dr Banyubala, the council has recommended that all medical universities training doctors and dentists should allow students in the fifth year of their studies to undergo a six-month to a year practical clinical attachment in Ghana.
He said the MDC has also recommended that recognised foreign training institutions enter into formal arrangements with various medical training institutions in Ghana, to afford their trainees the opportunity to do a structured and well-coordinated clinical attachment.
By AGNES OPOKU SARPONG