President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo has expressed concern about the country’s alarming doctor population ratio of one doctor to 8000 patients describing it as woefully inadequate and unacceptable.
He said the situation is even more lopsided in the rural and deprived communities, stating that there must be urgent steps taken to reverse the situation in the shortest possible time.
President Akufo Addo was speaking at the first session of the 50th congregation and oath swearing and induction for 54 newly graduated doctors of the University of Cape Coast School of Medical Sciences (UCCSMS) at the weekend.
Don’t blame doctors
President Addo said it was not surprising that doctors have failed to readily accept postings to the rural areas.
“If we have roads networks and good schools are available around the country and not only in the urban centres, if we have electricity supply in all communities we would not have to ask the doctors to go to work in the rural communities as they would then have developed communities and opportunities even in the rural communities” he observed.
“In other words, we all have work to do. None of our sectors stand alone.”
Until that is done he called on graduated doctors and those in training to do a little bit more out of the ordinary to bring relief to the situation.
He also called for intensified education and good advocacy roles on health and sanitation practices to reduce preventable diseases saying it takes better sanitation and not better medication to deal with some of the major health issues bedevilling the health sector.
The Chancellor of the UCC, Sir Sam Jonah appealed to the government to as a matter of urgency give financial clearance to recruit adequate numbers of teaching and non-teaching staff.
He said government funding to the university had been inadequate and the university’s internally generated funds had become the lifeline for providing critical infrastructure and other resources required for effective teaching, research and operating the university.
He appealed to the President to review the government’s directive to the universities to contribute 34 percent of their internally generated funds to the Consolidated Fund saying it was discouraging and could stifle creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Review Retirement Age
He also asked for the retirement age of faculty members to be revisited saying, members who had attained high-level intellectual maturity and who could mentor younger members were being lost to the private tertiary institutions.
The Vice Chancellor of UCC, Prof Joseph Ghartey Ampiah said the graduation brought to 243 the number of doctors who have graduated from the UCCSMS since 2013.
He said the school continued to gain recognition as it continued to make strides locally and internationally.