Regional News Sat, 28 May 2005
Accra, May 28, GNA - Dr. Charles Mensa, Resident Director, VALCO on Saturday observed that the current incentive structure of health professional would only improve if they decide to stay and work towards change."Change will only come when you get involve in the policy formulation of society," he said.
Dr Mensa, who was the guest speaker at the Fourth Congregation and Swearing -in -Ceremony of the College of Health Sciences of the University of Ghana called on the newly qualified professionals to work with stakeholders to influence and formulate the appropriate policies for the health sector.
"Just as your degrees comes with privileges, so does it come with a huge responsibility. A responsibility to change our society for good," he told the graduands.
He noted that a healthy people made a healthy nation because the healthy ones produce the goods and services that make a nation what it is.
He expressed worry about the high rate of public health issues, including the threat posed by HIV/AIDS that was affecting the resource of the nation.
He said it was in the light of this situation that the unique role of the College of Health sciences to improve on the health of the nation comes to play in educating Ghanaians with the requisite knowledge to prevent and cure diseases.
He said it was therefore, expected of Health Professionals to provide more efficient and reliable treatment supported by advanced research to help maintain the human resource base. He urged the college to endeavour to develop collaborative venture with industry to help improve the health of the nation in a more practical way.
Oyeeman Wereko Ampem II, Chancellor, University of Ghana said, with regards to examination malpractices that hit the university, the University Council had directed that immediate action be taken on the Nfodwo Report (a report of the committee constituted to investigate the malpractice).
He said various disciplinary committees had been constituted to begin disciplinary proceedings, adding that council was firmly determined to implement the recommendation of the report to the letter to restore public confidence in the university examination processes to maintain the image and integrity which had been so painstakingly acquired and nurtured over the years.
He gave the assurance that everything possible was being done to maintain the integrity of the certificates awarded to graduates by the premier university.
Mr Sam Okudzeto, Chairman, College Council called on government to pay attention to the exodus of doctors and nurses to the United Kingdom (UK), an issue which, he said, had provoked the British Medical Association to call its government's attention to.
"This development, he said, was unfair to the developed world," adding that it would be prudent for government to ask the UK and United States to compensate Ghana by paying for the cost of training or the saving they had made in not training the professionals. The College, he said, had witnessed a sharp increase in its student population with a corresponding expansion infrastructure. This, he said, had resulted in overcrowding in halls of residence, libraries and lecture halls, making the monitoring of students, especially at lectures, difficult.
Mr Okudzeto expressed appreciation to government about what they were doing with the GETFUND but added the enormity the challenges and complexities posed by the large number of student was disheartening. He therefore, appealed for more support to improve on the physical structures to enable the college to deal with the problems confronting them.
Vice Chancellor Professor Kwadwo Asenso-Okyere said the university had put in place mechanism to arrest misdeeds such as the examination scandal and to uphold the integrity of the university. He urged the graduands to uphold the name and ideas of the university in their professional careers wherever they found themselves.
Professor C.N.B Tagoe, Provost, College of Health Sciences said the college was turning out 275 graduands, consisting of 35 postgraduate from the school of Public Health, 72 medical doctors and 100 BSc (Med.Sci) from the Medical School, Eight dental surgeons from the Dental School, 86 from the School of Nursing and nine medical laboratory scientists from the school of Allied Sciences He congratulated the graduands and wished them well in their endeavour and urged them to plan quickly on how to help their alma mater as the alumni are doing and continue to do.