A former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has added his voice to appeals to striking Ghanaian doctors to call off their industrial action.
“No matter how right you are, you cannot shirk your responsibilities as doctors to your patients, whom you have sworn to save. Life lost cannot be resuscitated,” he stated.
Chief Obasanjo made the appeal at a special congregation of the University for Development Studies (UDS) in Tamale during which an honorary doctorate degree was conferred on him for his selfless service to his country and humanity.
Forty-seven students of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences who graduated in Human Biology, Medicine and Surgery were awarded certificates.
The new doctors were inducted into practice after taking their Hippocratic Oath, which was administered by Dr Eric Asamoah, the Chairman of the Medical and Dental Council.
The Overall Best Graduate Award in Medicine was received by Dr Daniel Atubiga.
The graduands are the second batch of medical students to be trained by the university since it started its clinical training at the Tamale Teaching Hospital.
Formerly, the students had their clinical training at the University of Ghana in Accra and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi.
To demonstrate their commitment to service and the nation, the new doctors were led by President Dramani Mahama to recite the national pledge.
“As you take the Hippocratic Oath, my advice is that you abide by what you have sworn to do forever and ever, Amen,” the President told them.
Reiterating his appeal to the doctors to return to work, President Mahama urged them to do away with their entrenched position to save precious lives as the post- migration committee of the new salary structure sped up work to address the various grievances.
He said the government was to embark on a recruitment drive of doctors into the security services to augment their capacity to deal with emergency health cases in the country.
According to him, the decision to recruit more doctors into the security services was part of measures being considered by the government to address the health needs of Ghanaians whenever there was a crisis in the sector, as was currently being experienced with the doctors’ strike.
The President further called on the graduands to accept posting to the rural communities where their services were equally needed and consider themselves as agents of change for a better Ghana.
He also called on parents and guardians to take the education of their children and wards seriously by investing in their schooling at all levels, since “there is no better way to love your children than to invest in their education”.
President Mahama commended former President John Rawlings, “whose vision and untiring efforts led to the establishment of the UDS”.
He expressed the commitment of the government to ensure continuous support for the university to realise its mission of promoting the equitable and socio-economic transformation of communities through a practical approach to problems.
He lauded the management and staff of the university for their perseverance in the face of the numerous challenges they were confronted with and tasked the Ministry of Roads and Highways to ensure that the entire road network on the campus was tarred to save the university community from dust pollution.