Health News of 2014-08-02

Inadequate district medical doctors impedes healthcare delivery

The Universal Access to Healthcare Campaign (UAHC) has called on the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service to swiftly take steps to address the deficiency of medical doctors in the districts.

The campaign group noted that lack of medical doctors and allied health professions posed great obstacle to good healthcare delivery, thereby endangering lives of many people, principally pregnant women.

A statement signed by Mr Sidua Hor, National Coordinator of UAHC and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Friday wondered why officials in healthcare agencies continue to draw on salaries when they could not fix the lopsided distribution of medical doctors and other health experts in the country.

The Campaign’s says it has established that, there is a dire need of doctors in some districts in the Upper East, Upper West, Brong Ahafo and Volta regions for several years now.

It said in the Upper West region, four out of the 11 districts do not have a trained medical doctor.

It explained that, among the four districts - Wa East, Dafiama-Busie-Issaah, Lambusie-Kane and Sissala West - the worst case is the Wa East District (Funsi), where it takes a patient about 80 kilometers to get to the nearest doctor in Tumu in the Sissala East District.

Again, it noted that, out of 27 districts in the Brong Ahafo region, five districts (Banda, Asonafo South, Nkrankwata, Sene East and Dormaa West) do not have a trained medical officer.

The statement quoted the 2012 Annual Report of Ghana Health Service, that out of 15 doctors posted to the Upper East region in 2012, only three reported but refused to stay.

According to the 2010 Ghana Health Services Facts and Figures Report, the Greater Accra Region has 820 doctors and more allied health professionals than any other region.

The Campaign questioned why officials who fail in their duties and doctors who refused postings to some of the districts, leading to needless deaths, continue to receive salaries.

The Campaign said it acknowledges that there are not enough trained medical doctors in the country but believes it is possible to have at least one medical doctor, in each district if the Health Directorates do their work well.

The Campaign observed that achieving universal health coverage is vital, but one important step is equity in the distribution of human resource for health.

The Universal Access to Health Care Campaign is a National Campaign driven by a network of Local and International Non-governmental Organisations.

Source: GNA
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