By Benjamin A. Commey
Accra, Sept 29, GNA — Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, Special Advisor to the President on Health, has justified the Ghana Medical and Dental Council’s decision not to recognise certificates issued by Medical and Dental Schools in Ukraine to Ghanaian students.
The Council, on Monday, September 26, 2022, said it would not recognise degree certificates issued by Medical and Dental Schools from Ukraine citing inappropriate training processes.
Most schools in the war-ravaged country are said to have resorted to studying online due to the conflict.
The Council explained that, that was not in accordance with the required training process as it threatened the quality and credence of the profession.
Briefing the media after meeting with relevant stakeholders on the integration of some Ghanaian Medical students from Ukraine into the Ghana Medical Education System, in Accra, on Wednesday, Dr Nsiah-Asare said the decision was to guard the practice of the profession in the country and protect the lives of the public.
He explained that, it was wrong to allow persons who had not gone through the required training process to practice as medical and dental officers.
“In medicine, especially in clinical medicine, I am a doctor so I can say it, you cannot say that you’ve done online course for the rest of your clinical courses and so you are a doctor. I don’t think you will allow anybody who has done online courses alone to come and see you,” he said.
“I know that some people are comparing that because of AI, people are even doing virtual surgeries and all those things, but that person has trained as a doctor, he has done postgraduate training and gone to do specialised training as a robotic surgeon…, but not just straight from medical school and you say that you’ve finished your medical school online.
“I don’t think you will allow such a doctor to see you. So, we are guarding the profession and protecting the public. The Medical and Dental Council guards the profession and protects the public,”Dr Nsiah-Asare empahsised.
The meeting had in attendance Dr Nsiah-Asare, Dr Divine Banyubala, Registrar, Medical and Dental Council, Deans of the seven universities and leadership of the National University of Ghana Students, Ukraine chapter.
Government, in May this year, established a 13-member Committee to come out with guidelines to help integrate Ghanaian Medical students from Ukraine into the Ghanaian universities to continue their studies.
Dr Nsiah-Asare, who was the chair of the Committee, said it had successfully completed its work and that the Committee would soon submit its report to the Minister of Education.
He said despite giving opportunities to all the affected students, a number of them did not take advantage of the opportunity.
He said, out of 187 students who initially showed interest in the integration process, only 121 registered to take part in an assessment organised by the Medical and Dental Council.
Dr Nsiah-Asare added that out of the registered number, 101 availed themselves for assessment.
“We’ve placed the students in first year level 100, level 200, level 300, level 400 and level 500. We didn’t place anybody in level 600 because the arrangement or the course structure in Ukraine for level 600 is quite different from the course structure in Ghana,” he said.
He, however, noted that one student was not placed in any of the universities because he offered an unrelated course.
Philip Bobbie-Ansah, President of the NUGS-Ukraine, attributed the failure on the part of many of the qualified and interested students to participate in the exam to their inability to afford plane tickets to Ghana as well as the short notice of the exercise.
He also bemoaned the timing of the Medical and Dental Council’s decision not to recognise certificates issued by Ukrainian Medical and Dental Schools to Ghanaian students saying, it was “ail-advised.”
The NUGS-Ukraine president appealed to the Council to give opportunity to students who still wanted to take advantage of the offer, to do so.
“I have made a plea to the Registrar of the GMC that if possible, already, we’ve done the assessment, the structures are already there. So, if possible, they can reconsider and allow students to come in and then take part in a second integration or whatever it will be because as I said, the statement came after the assessment was done so they weren’t well informed to make a decision,” he said.