The Medical and Dental Council (MDC) is reviewing its minimum requirement for the study of medicine abroad as part of efforts to check poor performance of Ghanaian doctors who train in foreign countries.
According to Chairman of the Board of the Council, Professor Paul Kwame Nyame, evidences gathered over the years on the worth of products from such foreign medical institutions had informed the need for a revised guideline in line with international best practices.
“We are taking measures to ensure quality in line with stakeholders with relevant expertise. The curricula of our medical and dental schools, as part of our minimum standards, is being harmonised such that it should not be difficult for anyone wishing to be registered by the MDC to know the scope of knowledge expected of a candidate.
This is in preparation of a common pre-registration examination in line with international practice of dissociating the qualifying examinations of the universities from the licensure examinations of professional regulatory bodies,” he stated.
The Board Chairman was speaking at the induction of 106 medical and dental practitioners comprising students from the University of Ghana School of Medicine and Dentistry, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology School of Medicine and Dentistry and foreign trained practitioners who undertook and passed the Council’s registration examination into the profession.
Describing allegations of compromising students’ results as a means of revenue collection for the Council as “mischievous and ridiculous,” Prof. Nyame insisted that students’ performance were based on them and no one else.
“The nature of these medical examinations are such that no single examiner or administrator can influence the outcome. And no professional involved in the examination will attempt to subvert the examinations to the advantage or disadvantage of any candidate,” he maintained.
The Board Chairman disclosed plans by the MDC to develop a scope of practice for each professional group under its purview adding that a specialist register would soon be opened to contain the list of specialists with appropriate training in their field of specialty as recognised by the Council.
“Practitioners will not practise in specialty they have no training in with untoward consequences or fatal outcomes,” he said, indicating also, an amendment of the Legislative Instrument backing the Health Regulatory Bodies Act, 2013 (Act 857).
“It may be necessary to seek amendments to the original act, Act 857, so that the operational value of the LI may be felt and also repair certain lapses detected,” he noted.
Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu in a speech read on his behalf alluded to the unsatisfactory performance of foreign trained doctors, lauding the MDC for its pending reforms to maintain quality and highest standards.
“I wish to recommend the MDC for undertaking a number of critical policy reforms to ensure basic and pre-registration training of medical and dental practitioners and physician assistants is in accordance with international best practice.”
“The introduction of the scope of practice for practitioners to clarify what various categories of practitioners can do or cannot do will help make them more accountable professionally and help the Council to better regulate the practice in our collective interest,” he noted.
The Minister commended the new doctors urging them to serve with diligence and dedication to address the health needs of Ghanaians.
Giving a word of advice to the inductees, Dr Samuel Gepi-Attee, urologist and surgeon of the Department of Surgery of the School and Medicine and Dentistry, University of Ghana, urged practitioners to always “have a student mentality.”
“Seek knowledge and be analytical in your practice, ensure you document cases that come to your attention for future reference and consider adopting other skills beyond your field of interest,” he advised.
It would be recalled that the Ghanaian Times in its March 25 edition reported that atotal of 157 out of 225 foreign trained Ghanaian doctors failed the Medical and Dental Council (MDC)’s examination which grants them the licence to practice in the country.
Only 68, representing a 30.2 per cent pass rate, were able to prove their mettle in the examination conducted from February 22, 2019 to March 2, 2019 when results were released.
The 225 comprised 208 general duty medical doctors, eight general duty dentists, eight specialists and a ‘mature’ candidate, who studied in more than 10 universities in China, Ukraine, Russia, Philippines and Belarus.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH