President Akufo-Addo has revealed that Ghana does not have the right number of doctors, dentists and healthcare professionals with the right mix of skills and expertise in the regions.
He indicated that the situation is particularly prevalent in the newly-created regions and districts in the country. Speaking at the 60th celebration of the University of Ghana Medical School today, March 25, 2022, President Akufo-Addo noted that the issue stems from the reluctance of health personnel to accept postings to these regions.
“We currently do not have the right number of doctors, dentists and healthcare professionals with the right mix of skills and expertise in our regions, districts and deprived communities, especially for the new-created regions and districts. The news of doctors refusing postings to these areas is particularly distressing”.President Akufo-Addo
Following this, President Akufo-Addo entreated all medical practitioners to follow the example of the country’s “great fore bearers” who readily accepted postings in their early years at a time when the national infrastructure was even more harrowing than it is today.
“They did so because they believe the oath they took imposed a duty on them to offer their services especially to the needy. It was their work that helped build the nationwide health system for which we are all benefiting”.President Akufo-Addo
Following this, the President intimated that good health is crucial to the nation and it is for that reason, access to quality healthcare is a right that is enshrined in the constitution. This constitutional right, he noted, can best be materialized if health institutions like the University of Ghana Medical School, nursing training schools, and other allied health training institutions produce the required numbers of competent personnel who enjoy the confidence of the population.
“It is on this basis I believe that the theme for this celebration ‘Building 60 years of quality medical education, the role of technology’ is so apt in the times in which we find ourselves. Many of us here are aware of the commitments made by the government since January 2017 when I took office in the areas of education, health and technology”.President Akufo-Addo
Development of Agenda 111 project
Over the last five years, President Akufo-Addo expressed that government has pursued policies in the health sector to improve its quality to help place the nation on the path of sustained development, progress and prosperity. He indicated that the proof of such commitment within the healthcare system is evident in the Agenda 111 initiative.
“This project will provide 111 standard 100-bed district hospitals with accommodation for doctors and nurses in districts without district hospitals, six new regional hospitals for each of the six new regions, rehabilitate the Efia Nkwanta hospital in the Western Region, one new regional hospital for the Western Region and three psychiatry hospitals for each of the three zones of the country i.e. the North, Middle and the Coastal. The entire package at an estimated cost of US$1.765billion”.President Akufo-Addo
President Akufo-Addo revealed that such a development will help make Ghana a centre of medical excellence and a preferred destination for medical tourism in West Africa. He emphasized that a great deal of the preparatory work for the execution of this ambitious project has been completed.
“It is my determination that the entire project will be completed before I leave office on 7th January 2025”.President Akufo-Addo