One doctor for 66,000 patients?
Kumasi (Ashanti Region) 26 April ?99
One hundred and sixteen doctors were lost by the country last year alone, and out of the 1,430 doctors trained by the Ghana Medical School since its inception in 1962, only 110 are in the country at present.
Available statistics provided by the Ghana Medical Association indicate that the doctor-patient ratio in Ghana is 1:12,500. In the Upper East region, it is one doctor to 66,000 patients, a situation described as serious.
A communique issued and signed jointly by Dr J.K Kwakye-Marfo and Dr Oheneba Owusu-Danso, president and honorary secretary of the GMA, at the association's second representative board meeting held in Kumasi, announced that the GMA would formally address the issue of the brain-drain of health professionals at its 41st annual general meeting, slated for November this year under the theme "Arresting the Brain Drain in the Health Sector".
This has become necessary in view of the alarming rate at which doctors trained by the two medical institutions in the country are leaving to seek greener pastures.
Meanwhile the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has called on the government to implement without further delay the medium to long term salary/income policy, otherwise called the Price Waterhouse Report.
The government should also put in place a "fair and responsible appellate body" to address any disagreement arising out of the implementation.
The association asked the government to abide by the spirit of the memorandum of understanding and its supporting minutes as signed by the GMA and the government on December 27 last year until the agreed review date in May 1999.
The communique re-affirmed the determination of the GMA to continue with its annual health week activities in all regions of the country. The Afram Plains is a special focus area this year.