The Ghana Medical and Dental Council (MDC) has inducted 403 Physician Assistants and Registered Certified Anaesthetists into the Council to augment the inequitable distribution of personnel in the health sector.
The inductees are from the College of Health and Wellbeing, Kintampo, the Central University College, Presbyterian University, Narh Bita College and the Schools of Anaesteisia, of 37 Military, Ridge and Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospitals.
There would be issued with provisional registrations to enable them undertake their one year internship in an accredited institution, a prerequisite for permanent registration which also serve as national service.
They had hitherto practiced without regulations and not under any statutory body in the Ghana Health Service.
They took the oath of office and the National Anthem which enjoins among others to uphold the tenets of patient anatomy, beneficence, non-malfeasance and justice as well as defend the good name of Ghana
The inductees are also personally accountable for their actions and inactions in their professional practice and must be prepared to justify their decisions.
Mr Victor Bampoe, Deputy Minister of Health, said this is to help train and retain critical staff who will provide the needed frontline support required for effective healthcare delivery in Ghana and also increase the number of middle level healthcare providers.
“By your license, you are a group of well trained and motivated front line workers with specific responsibilities towards patients and other health workers. A cadre of staff who knows what he or she is about and occupies a very important niche in the provision of health services in Ghana,” he said.
The Minister said severe shortages exist with the massive expansion of health infrastructure making the role of the Physician Assistant and the certified Registered Anaesthetist very critical especially in the deprived areas.
He urged them to approach their work with all seriousness and be convinced that they were trained to help their own people adding “there is nothing nobler than this”.
Dr Ken Sagoe, a member of the MDC, who read the speech of the Chairman of MDC, said characteristics that separate the great practitioners from the common ones have little to do with intelligence than they have more to more to do, with responsibility, compassion, commitment, a sense of humour, the ability to communicate, intellectual curiosity and the capacity to work with team and lead by example.
Another issue of concern, he said, was the performance of practitioner fitness of health practitioners and noted that practitioners should conduct and behave themselves so as not to harm their patient, clients, service users or even colleagues or bring the profession into disrepute.
For this reason, a Fitness to Practice guidelines was launched eight months ago to ensure that practitioners in addition to having achieved the required academic standards were physically and mentally healthy to practice.
“ As care givers you need to take care good care of yourselves, and you need to be cared for; you need to avoid burn out or any form of impairment and if you if you are unwell, seek care; you are also human,” Dr Sagoe said.
“The practice of medicine is an art, not a trade; a calling, not a business; a calling in which your heart will be exercised equally with your head” he said quoting Sir William Osler, a 20th century Professor of Medicine and urged them to dare to be different and be the best in what they do.