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Government appeals to health professionals in Diaspora to return

Kumasi, Sept. 21, GNA – The government on Monday appealed to Ghanaian health professionals in the Diaspora to constitute themselves into a body for purposes of coming down to extend training and services to their local counterparts and the communities.

Dr Benjamin Kumbuor, Deputy Minister of Health, said the way for the nation to benefit from the enormous investment it had made over the years and continue to make in the training of health professionals was not only to retain them but to also tap the rich experiences and expertise of those who had left.

Dr Kumbuor was addressing the opening of a four-day international conference on “advances in medicine” held in Kumasi on Monday.

The annual conference was initiated by the Komfo Anokye Teaching hospital (KATH) in collaboration with the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, Olmsted Outreach and Navigators Africa Partners Medical of the USA.

It is aimed at providing update in most current diagnostic and treatment methods in order to consolidate and strengthen quality health care delivery in West Africa.

Over 1,400 doctors and other health professionals had participated in the conference since its inception six years ago.

Dr Kumbuor acknowledged the ever rapidly changing trends in the medical practice the world over and said without continuous medical education the country’s medical profession risked becoming outmoded.

He commended KATH and its partners for helping to sustain high quality continuing medical education in the country over the past six years that was impacting well on the health care delivery system.

The Deputy Minister, however, said the government was worried about the persistent high morbidity resulting from preventable diseases, high maternal mortality and the disparity in access to health care among both the rural and urban poor and called on the organizers to lay greater emphasis on maternal health care in subsequent conferences.

He repeated the government’s resolve to continue to dialogue with the leadership of health professionals to arrive at mutually acceptable salaries for health staff.

Mr Kofi Opoku Manu, Ashanti Regional Minister, welcomed the initiative aimed at fostering relationships with foreign health institutions, organizations and local counterparts by making experts available to share experiences of modern diagnostic techniques and skills to complement government’s efforts at providing affordable health care to people.

He appealed to Heads of health institutions in the region to come out with innovative ways to complement the efforts of KATH in providing medical care to residents within Kumasi metropolis and its environs to decongest KATH.

Professor Ohene Adjei, Acting Chief Executive of KATH, said lack of systematic programme of continuous education and world class refresher courses in most African countries had created a worrying state of knowledge deficit among practitioners in terms of current developments in the medical field.

He said with the changing lifestyle resulting in the emergence of diseases, which were hitherto uncommon in the Ghanaian environment, health professionals needed to speed up in responding to the changing health needs of the people by adopting the culture of constant renewal of their knowledge base in medicine.

Professor Adjei said KATH was well aware of the critical importance of continuing medical education and was ever ready to embrace any initiative and interventions that were geared at improving the quality of medical training at all levels of the profession.

This would put it in a better position to achieve accurate diagnosis, effective treatment and quick recuperation of patients and thus ensure the optimum use of the limited resources available to the health sector.






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