The Ghana Medical and Dental Council (MDC) has inducted 386 newly qualified physician assistants and certified registered anesthetists into the Council to boost the equitable distribution of personnel in the health sector.
Dr Eli Kwasi Atikpui, the Registrar of the MDC, who conducted a roll-call of the inductees, said they were from the University of Health and Allied Sciences, University of Ghana, College of Health and Wellbeing, Kintampo, the Central University, Miotso, Narh Bita College, Tema, and the Schools of Anaesthesia of 37 Military, Ridge and Komfo Anokye Teaching hospitals.
He said the inductees would be issued with provisional registrations to enable them to undertake their one-year internship and national service in an accredited institution, which would also serve as a prerequisite for their permanent registration by the Council.
Mr Kingsley Aboagye-Gyedu, a Deputy Minister of Health, led the inductees, as part of their Oath of office, to sing and recite the National Anthem and Pledge respectively, which enjoined to uphold the tenets of patient anatomy, kindness, non-malfeasance, and justice as well as to defend the good name of Ghana.
He said the inductees were accountable for their actions and inactions in their professional practice and must be prepared to justify their decisions.
Mr Aboagye-Gyedu said Government, within the constraints of its budget, had made great efforts to overcome the inherent challenges within the health sector, which included provisions for professional training, conditions of service with remunerations, logistics and improved health facilities, housing and transportation.
He said the massive brain drain of health professionals to seek greener pastures, mainly in Europe and America, was a major concern to government and all Ghanaians, adding that about 4,000 doctors and 15,000 nurses had left the country since 1996.
“Some estimates indicate that it cost about GHC100,000 to train a Physician Assistant or a Certified Registered Anaesthetist from Senior High School to their training institutions,” he said, and urged health professionals to place their benefactors, who were the Ghanaian tax payers, above their own interests as they had sworn to do.
Mr Aboagye-Gyedu said Ghana’s economy was just beginning to recover from a rather difficult past and there was the need for patience on all sides.
Dr Constance Addo-Yobo, the immediate past Chief Dental Officer of the Ghana Health Service, and a Member of the Ninth Board of the MDC, later led the inductees to pledge their allegiance to the service of humanity by swearing the Oath of the Physician Assistant and Certified Registered Anesthetist.
The Oath, she said, required practitioners to, among other things, hold as their primary responsibility the health, safety, welfare and dignity of all human beings, treat all persons who sought care equally, strive to improve their practice, and work as a team with other health professionals.
Dr Addo-Yobo advised the inductees to exhibit the values of humility, respect, submissiveness, integrity, hard work, and the fear of God, while maintaining a high ethical standard to raise the image of the profession.