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09.08.2004 Health

Govt presents 167 cars to the Ministry of Health

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Accra, Aug.9, GNA - The Government on Monday presented 167 saloon cars out of 459 saloon cars being acquired for public healthcare practitioners to buy on hire-purchase basis and on soft terms to the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Accra.

The rest of the vehicles would be delivered by the end of October. The 459 saloon cars made up of 94 Toyota Corolla, 50 Nissan Sunny; 50 Honda and 265 Fiat cars estimated at about 3.8 million dollars were purchased under the Ministry's Vehicle Revolving Fund.

President John Agyekum Kufuor, who presented the vehicles to the Ministry, expressed the hope that healthcare professionals would appreciate efforts being made by the Government and redouble their services to the people.

He said lack of job satisfaction; inadequate remuneration; accommodation problems and general dissatisfaction with the quality of life were problems which healthcare professionals shared with many other Ghanaian professionals.

However, President Kufuor said the needs of society and the very nature of their chosen profession placed a greater demand on healthcare professionals than on others, therefore, "we tend to set them aside for a bit more consideration than the rest".

President Kufuor said in line with this intention, a School of Allied Health Sciences had been set up to enhance the professional skills of Medical Radiologists and Laboratory Technicians.

The Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons has been established to offer local post-graduate medical training to medical practitioners and a housing scheme is being launched by the Government to enable the staff to own their own houses.

President Kufuor called on beneficiaries of the Fund to ensure its sustainability by making payments on time.

He asked the Ministry to manage and oversee the Fund, maintain and extend the programme in an efficient and fair manner.

Dr Kwaku Afriyie, Minister of Health, who received the vehicles, said the Fund was part of the comprehensive programme to enhance the professional competence and career development of health professionals.

He said with the Government's role as a facilitator, health professionals should exercise patience, adding, " the Government has good intentions for the health sector, we should give him the chance".

Forty-four out of the vehicles would be given to Private Medical and Dental Practitioners, some would go to the Regional Health Directorates, Teaching Hospitals; The Ministry; Ghana Health Service; Health Regulatory Bodies; Medical Schools; Psychiatric Institutions and Districts Health Management Teams.

The Government delivered 200 Skoda cars in 2001 and 60 Renault cars in 2003 to the Ministry.

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