Doctors refuse to work in prisons

Prisons are communities on their own and are expected to have dedicated health services.

However, prisons in Ghana do not have hospitals, relying on public hospitals to treat inmates and officers alike.

The prisons only have infirmaries which see to the care of prisons officers, their families and about 16 thousand inmates.

Checks by JoyNews reveal that none of the prisons in the country have on-call doctors to their infirmaries as they refuse postings to them.

The infirmaries are manned solely by nurses.
The Controller General of the Prisons Service, Matilda Baffour Awuah, has cited the lack of incentives as the reason for the doctors’ refusal.

According to her, the infirmaries lack basic equipment and facilities necessary for proper care. She was of the opinion that incentive packages be provided to entice doctors to work with the prisons service.

Ms Awuah revealed that the Prisons Council is currently working on providing packages for doctors and ensuring that they have the necessary equipment and facilities to work in.

Meanwhile the President of the Ghana Medical Association Dr Kwabena Opoku Adusei expressed dissatisfaction with the present conditions of the prisons infirmaries, as well as the lack of incentives for doctors to work there.

He questioned conditions under which the doctors would be posted to the prisons and insisted that incentives and other packages be implemented immediately to persuade members to extend their services to the prisons. 

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