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Kudos, Cuban Doctors

13 June 2011 | Health

For quite some time now health workers, especially doctors from Cuba, have been working tirelessly to extend healthcare services to the doorstep of Ghanaians.

Cuban doctors have accepted posting to all parts of the country, particularly the three northern regions and the most deprived districts, so that our people in need of critical care can have access to health care.

The level of care and love shown by the Cuban doctors is quite amazing because our own kinsmen who were trained with the taxpayers’ money sometimes turn their backs on requests to serve in rural communities.

It is no secret that the doctor/patient ratio in the country does not measure up to the world's standards and the situation is further aggravated by the refusal of some health workers to work in areas where their services are badly needed.

One critical mandate or charge imposed on doctors when they take the Hippocratic Oath is to try as much as possible to save lives, no matter the circumstance, because life is an inviolable right.

The activities of health workers, including doctors, sometimes leave a sour taste in the mouths of ordinary people who suffer most when medical practitioners desert the health facilities in protest against poor conditions of service.

It is said that no army marches on an empty stomach. The same holds true for health workers who have to maintain themselves and their families and, therefore, need to be adequately rewarded by their employers to maintain their keep.

Indeed, doctors and their colleagues in the health profession are held in high esteem by members of society because of their critical role in ensuring that the people stay healthy at all times.


This high regard for the medical profession can be reciprocated by health professionals pledging not to go on strike, no matter the provocation.

Strikes by health workers in the past caused so much pain and anguish to some members of the public who lost relations and friends as a result, although our laws prohibit strikes by all essential services, including health services.

Society is, however, obliged to take good care of these critical professionals, so that they will not join the brain drain but stay in the country to contribute their quota to nation-building.

The Daily Graphic believes that Cuban doctors who travel from their country to serve our people in remote areas can serve as role models, particularly for young doctors.

The decision by the government to include health workers in the National service Scheme will go a long way to address the shortfall of doctors in the rural areas.

During his interaction with Cuban doctors at the Castle in Accra last Friday, President J.E.A. Mills commended them for their dedication and commitment to duty in Ghana.

'I have been around for some time and what amazes me is your dedication to work. Without your support, we will have difficulty in our health services,' the President said.

The Executive endorsement of the contribution of the Cuban doctors to our healthcare delivery system should be a challenge to Ghanaian doctors to be more nationalistic in their outlook.

Never again should they refuse posting to the rural areas and thereby expose our hardworking farmers and others in the rural setting to poor healthcare services.

The Daily Graphic hopes to witness more collaboration between Ghana and Cuba in the years ahead, especially as more Cuban doctors help address the health needs of our people.

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