Gov’t to absorb cost for postgraduate training of doctors

Government has announced a new policy to absorb the cost of training doctors at the post-graduate level.

This comes on the back of concerns raised by members of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) that some of its members are unable to upgrade their skills due to the cost involved.

According to the Association, it is imperative for government to sponsor doctors to the postgraduate level so as to be able to have oversight control over skill specialization and operations of health practitioners.

Assistant General Secretary of GMA, Dr Titus Beyou said, “the reason is not that the cost is too high but it is an impediment.”

He believes when the government allows specialization training to be borne by the doctors, it loses control over them.

“This way, people will not be willing to serve after the process because if they have to pay to undergo specialization, people will select the courses they believe will fetch them money,” he said.

According to him, if someone pays for his own specialization training he or she will decide where they want to serve.

He said this explains why a lot of doctors are in the main cities because they want to recoup the investment in training.

The Association is, therefore, calling on the government to improve their conditions of service.

The Association said despite the success in having a codified document on their conditions of service after battling for several years for it, the implementation of the document continues to remain a challenge.

But in an interview with Joy News, the Health Minister, Kweku Agyeman Manu said the government is working to take over the cost of graduate medical training at the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the 60th-anniversary ceremony of the GMA, he said they are working with the GMA on the implementation of their service conditions.

He said the NPP during the 2016 campaign promised to take a look at the cost of postgraduate training for medical offices.

“We will announce the taking over of postgraduate expenditures,” he said.

Meanwhile, former president of the Ghana Medical Association and board Chair of SSNIT, Dr Kwame Addo-Kuffour has proposed a 30 percent pay increase for medical practitioners who are posted to rural areas for work.

He believes this will greatly motivate doctors to accept postings to the rural areas.

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