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07.11.2003 General News

Doctors in rural areas to be paid allowance

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Kumasi, Nov. 7, GNA - Doctors who accept postings to rural health facilities will, from next year be paid 30 percent of their basic salaries as "Deprived Area Allowance", Mr. Moses Dani-Baah, Deputy Minister of Health, has announced.

This, he said, would be in addition to the payment of their extra duty allowance, adding that, the government has already allocated 23 billion cedis for the purpose.

Mr Dani-Baah was speaking at the opening of the 45th Annual General Meeting of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) in Kumasi on Friday. It is on the theme: "Changing Lifestyle and Diseases: A Multi-sectoral Approach".

The Deputy Health Minister said the deprived area allowance was part of an incentive package to attract more qualified medical practitioners to the rural communities and make quality health care easily accessible to the communities.

He said the government, in line with its vision of private sector promotion, would encourage both local and foreign-based health professionals to set up facilities in the deprived areas. To achieve this goal, such professional would be offered import tax exemptions and other tax holidays.

Mr Dani-Baah said the District Assemblies had also been asked to sponsor candidates in health training institutions so that on completion, they would return to the districts to work. He told the GMA to strengthen its advocacy and health education programmes and minimise the threats of conflicts and strikes. The Deputy Minister said the government was very much aware of the problems facing the health sector and was making efforts to address them.

Dr Robert Kweku Sagoe, Chairman of the Ashanti division of the association, expressed the hope that recommendations made from the scientific sessions of the GMA would be implemented by policy-makers to help reduce the incidence of emerging diseases.

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