Medical and Dental Council Celebrates 50th Anniversary : Assure Ghanaians Of Quality Healthcare Delivery

The Medical and Dental Council of Ghana have celebrated its 50 years of the regulation of the professions of medicine and dentistry in our beautiful and hospitable country. Assured Ghanaians to improve the quality of health care delivery across the country.

The 50 years anniversary brought together critical stakeholders to reflect on the current challenges with local medical and dental training and practice with the view to forging consensus on actionable solutions to boost local production of doctors and dentists at both undergraduate and specialist levels in anticipation for the completion of the hospitals under Government’s Agenda 111 project.

This will also reduce the pressure on young persons to travel out of this country for medical and dental training that turns out to be largely unsatisfactory for our Ghanaian practice environment.

The Medical and Dental Council, Ghana was formally set up under the Medical and Dental Act, 1972 (National Redemption Council Decree 91) and charged with the responsibility for the regulation of the medical and dental professions in Ghana.

It is important to note that the local training of medical doctors commenced in 1962, a whole decade before the Council was established to regulate the training and practice of medicine and dentistry in Ghana. The NRCD 91 came into effect on 8th August, 1972. This means the medical and dental council is 50 years old.

The Council has made significant and impactful contributions internationally. At the continental level Council is a member of the Management Committee of the Association of Medical Councils of Africa (AMCOA) and a member of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Medical Regulatory Authorities (IAMRA) at the global level.

According to the Registrar Mr. Divine N. Banyubala the Council have signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ghana Physicians and Surgeons Foundation of North America to leverage the collective expertise and experiences of Ghanaian doctors and dentists in the diaspora to enhance training, specialist and sub-specialist service delivery and health related research.

As a lead health sector professional regulator, he said the Board has over the years contributed to shaping national policies especially health sector related policies too many to enumerated. For example, the initial steps towards the birthing of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons started from the offices of the Council, he said.

This, to him, from its humble beginnings of regulating one local medical school and a handful of foreign trained doctors and dentists, the Council now regulates training in seven (7) medical schools including two private schools (Family Health Medical School and Accra College of Medicine), two (2) dental schools and some 13 physician assistant training schools.

The Council now has over 10,400 doctors with active licenses on its registers and 6,000 physician assistants (medical, anaesthesia and oral health). Council launched the Specialist Register last year.

Mr Banyubala lauded that Ghana constitutes an additional regulatory complexity that needs to be matched by a well-resourced, innovative, pragmatic and proactive professional regulator. “Over the decades witnessed good progress in all the critical regulatory areas (standard setting, training, registration, regulation and policy support for the health sector generally) owing to the great work done by successive Boards and Managements of the Council.”

For his part , the Minister of Health, Hon. Kwaku Agyeman Manu, disclosed that the ministry facilitated the approval of a World Bank facility in June 2020 to the tune of Fifteen Million, Two Hundred and Sixty-Seven Thousand, Four Hundred and Sixty Four US Dollars (USD 15, 267, 464. 28).

To the minister, this funding support is to help build the first ever National Clinical Skills Examination Centre of Excellence as well as a new Head Office Complex with accommodation facilities for the Council.

He continued that the contract has been awarded and work will commence as soon as he firm up funding arrangements with the Bank. Also, the approved Draft Amendments to Part II of the Health of the Health Professions Regulatory Bodies Act, 2013 (Act 857) will be submitted to Parliament at its next sitting after a final consultative meeting with stakeholders to be organized by the Ministry has been carried out.

The sector minister Mr. Kwaku Agyeman Manu expressed his profund gratitude to the Council for their commitment. ” Am excited and commend the Council for its commitment and foresight for inviting critical stakeholders at this time to reflect on the current challenges with local medical and dental training and practice with the view to forging consensus on actionable solutions to boost local production of doctors and dentists.”

The 50th anniversary was attended by , the Vice president of the Republic of Ghana Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia , The Minister of Health Mr. Kwaku Agyeman Manu, the lectures of Various Universities, Traditional medical and dental training institutions.

The rest are, Dr. Kgosi Letlape President, Association of Medical Council of African (AMCOA), Prof. Afua A. J. Hesse President of Accra College of Medicine (ACM), Deputy minister of Health, Director of Ghana Medical Association and Health practitioners, local and Foreign Doctors.

Report By Bernard K DADZIE

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