Government to Decentralize Deployment of Medical Officers – Maiden Volta/Oti GMA Division Excellence Awards.
15 Doctors and 3 Health Facilities were awarded by the Volta/Oti Division of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) during its Maiden Dinner and Awards Night.
The event which took place at the Volta Serene Hotel, Ho on Saturday, 5th February, 2023 was to recognize and appreciate all medical doctors for their compassion, dedication and selfless service towards improving healthcare delivery in the country.
The event was graced by Hon. Samuel Ablakwah Okudzeto; MP for North Tongu, Professor Fred Newton Binka; Foundation VC of UHAS, Professor Lydia Aziator; VC of UHAS, Dr. Frank Serebour; GMA President, Dr. Paa Kwesi Baidoo; Chairman of Ashanti Division of GMA, Dr. Adam Hafiz Tahir; Director of External Health Corporations of Ministry of Health who represented the Minister for Health, among other important personalities who have left their footprints in the healthcare sector.
The awardees Dr. Sosa Elinam Armstrong, Dr. Mrs Abigail Mawuse Quist, Dr. Geoffery Reginald Kwasi Nyamuame, Dr. Davidson Iroko, Dr. Koffi Effah, Dr. Nelson Affram, Dr. Napoleon Yohannes Nyagorme, Dr Habib Ahmed, Dr. John Tampouri, Professor Harry Tagbor, Dr. Anthony Ashinyo, Dr. Hayford Atuguba, Dr. Joseph Teye Nuertekey, Dr. Joseph Mawunyo, Royal Hospital, Margaret Maquart Hospital and Worawora Government hospital took home laptops, phones, televisions, blenders and refrigerators.
Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwah was also awarded a Medal of Honour for exemplary leadership and dedication towards improving healthcare in the country.
The Divisional Chairman, Dr.Kwaku Boadu Appiagyei appealed to all doctors to extend their services to underserved communities and not work in Accra and Kumasi only. He added that the division will pay allowances to doctors willing to work in districts that do not have Medical doctors.
GMA President, Dr. Frank Serebour congratulated all nominees, cheered the doctors on to continue the good work and admonished the seniors in one-man stations to work to attract other doctors. “Every district should have more than one doctor to reduce workload”, he added.
Dr. Adam Hafiz Tahir, The Guest of Honour congratulated the division for its novelty. The efforts, sleepless night and sacrifices of doctors deserve recognition. He also commended them on the great stride the country has taken against the elimination of some Neglected Tropical Diseases.
Speaking on the refusal of doctors to go to deprived districts, he revealed governments initiative to decentralize the deployment of medical officers because 60% of doctors work in Accra and Kumasi leaving 40% for the rest of the country. Other mechanisms to attract doctors to districts facilities includes qualification for postgraduate study with scholarship after working two years post Housemanship. Currently, 30 doctors are benefiting from the initiative. Government is also signing an MoU with United Kingdom on exportation of Health Officials starting with the Nurses with the intention of upgrading them. He also called on District Chief Executives to attract doctors to their districts by providing basic amenities in their districts because the refusal to work in those areas goes beyond salaries.
Dr. Adam Hafiz Tahir told FGMSA Chatters on Saturday that:
There are about 218,000 Nurses and Midwives in Ghana from both private and government institutions. This number is a lot higher than WHO recommendation and government does not have the capacity to employ them all. The MoU with UK lasting for 2years will enable the nurses to upgrade their skills, and come back to improve health care in the country. Lastly, a lot of nurses and midwives are already moving out of the country. This initiative will enable government regulate the process. Moreover, the country gets some revenue from the initiative which goes into improving the sector.
Finally, Hon. Dr. Archibald Letsa admonished doctors and medical students to find time to socialize and have fun. “We have a wonderful and noble profession and I’m very proud to be one of you”, he added.
FGMSA Chatters got these messages from the Dignitaries to all Medical Students.
Dr Serebour, President of GMA
I wish all final year Medical Students victory in their final exams. We are working tirelessly to improve conditions of service and solve the issues of clearance so that you won’t stay home for long. You will surely enjoy the fruits of our labour.
Professor Newton Binka, Foundational VC of UHAS
After school, avail yourselves and extend your services to underserved communities. It is a great opportunity put into practice what you have learnt. While a Senior House Officer at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital will still be chasing blood around and has possibly never held a scalpel because they are heavily populated, those in the rural areas are usually understaffed. This creates the opportunity to put into practice what they have learnt, do more, and gain more experience.
Hon Ablakwah Okudzeto, MP for North Tongu
Medical students should be inspired by this occasion and know that the work doctors do is recognized and appreciated. Ghana is losing too may medical doctors to other countries. Even if you leave, the intention should be to specialize and come back to improve healthcare in Ghana.
Prof Harry Tarbor, Pro- VC of UHAS
Study hard and finish school. Satisfaction in the field is not about money. Do not chase money as Doctors. When you dedicate ourselves and work wholeheartedly, money will follow.
Hon Dr Archibald Letsa, Volta Regional Minister
I urge all Medical students to study hard and keep in mind that medicine is a calling. Handle patients with compassionate. If all you want is to get rich, then you have chosen the wrong profession.
Dr Gifty Ampofo
Aspire to achieve higher than your predecessors. Wherever you find yourself, be dedicated and work wholeheartedly.
Reporter: Aishah Fadila Adamu