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“We are Grateful for absorbing cost of Specialist Training” – Physician and Surgeon Trainers Laud Pres Akufo-Addo

The Governing council, faculty and management of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons have commended the Akufo-Addo government for funding the post graduate training of medical specialists and fellows at the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons as part of efforts to ensure equitable distribution of health workers across the country.

During a visit to the President on Monday, 23rd October, 2023, officials from the College, led by Chairman of the Governing Council, Professor Yaw Adu Gyamfi and the Rector of the College, Professor Richard Adanu, said funding from the National Health Insurance Scheme and the Scholarship Secretariat has been immensely beneficial.

The officials from the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons were at the Jubilee House to inform the President about the activities scheduled to mark 20 years of the establishment of the college.

Rector of the College, Professor Richard Adanu, in a presentation on how their activities are linked to national development and the plans for future expansion, said, the College, as established in 2003, has since 2007, “graduated a total of almost 1700 Basic General Specialists across about 16 different fields of study in medicine and surgery.”

He pointed out that, even after the Basic Specialist training, they come in again for at least another two-years training to become Advanced Specialists also referred to as Fellows of the college and added that, from three Fellows graduating in 2010, the college has now successfully churned out 200 fellows in the country.

“One of the reasons why the college was set up was because of the slow production of medical specialists in the country and over the past twenty years, the rate of production is definitely much higher than it was before the college was set-up. So, in that sense, the college has been successful.”

However, he stated that the county is still not hitting the mark that is needed with only a marginal increase in the total number of specialists per population over the twenty years, thus making the provision of the scholarships by government a key boost in the broader expansion agenda of the college.

“Currently, we have about 1400 doctors-in-training in different parts of the country, and the training occurs mainly in seven hospitals and that is a thing that we are not very happy about because, when you think of the number of hospitals in this country, and we are only doing specialist training in seven of them, then we have some way to go,” he indicated.

Continuing, he disclosed that, “this is why, we have set ourselves the target of having one major training centre for fellowship training, that is the training of the Advanced Specialists in each of the previous ten geographic regions, so that in two years from now, we will be able to have fellowship training at some level in each of those regions.”

In addition to these, the college intends to do membership training in at least five of the regional hospitals by 2026, to add up to the existing seven centres across the country, with a projection to extend it to all regional hospitals by 2030, he said.

Whilst this is being worked on, Professor Adanu pointed out that, the college begun Fellowship training at Holy Family Hospital, Techiman in July this year, and will begin same at Effia-Nkwanta Hospital in Takoradi and the Eastern Regional Hospital, in Koforidua, by January 2024.

“All of these is to service the need for all doctors graduating from medical school to specialize as it is in high income countries, and to have enough specialists produced to staff the hospitals being built under the Agenda 111 project. “

President Akufo-Addo congratulated the college on the achievement of the twenty-year milestone and assured them of the utmost commitment of his government to ensure that these essential targets are met, saying, “it is the responsibility of government to put a stronger shoulder as possible to the wheel of progress in allowing you to be able to carry out these important responsibilities more efficiently and more effectively.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Presidency, Republic of Ghana.

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