The Certified Registered Anaesthetists (CRAs) are unhappy over a long-standing issue resulting to the amendment of part 2 of the Health Profession Regulatory Bodies Act 2013, Act 857.
They say the nature and quick pace the amendment process is being carried out and the refusal to accept their concerns is malicious and ill-informed.
In a letter to the Ministry of Health and cited by ModernGhana, the CRAs have vowed to withdraw anaesthesia services for elective surgeries from 11 - 15th April, 2019 if government allow the change of their new name (Certified Registered Anaesthetists) to the old name (Physician Assistant-Anaesthesia).
￼They added that they will further withdraw anaesthesia services for both elective and emergency surgeries from 16th April, 2019 if their issues in the petition to the Minister for health and the Parliamentary Select Committee on health are not addressed.
According to them, it is against best practices for one Anaesthetist to provide anaesthesia service for a surgical procedure. But due to shortage of anaesthetists in the country, they have provided anaesthesia services regardless of this challenge without any problem.
According to their President, in the practice of anaesthesia, supervision in absentia is non-ethical and frowns on best practices.
"It is mandatory the supervisor is present during the conduct of anaesthesia for a surgical procedure. But this has never been the case," they noted.
CRAs say in many cases, where there are or no Doctor Anaesthetists at a hospital they handle the entire process for both elective and emergency surgeries without any supervision because the Doctor Anaesthetists will not stay in the operating theatre.
They added that while there are several hospitals without Doctor Anaesthetists, their members can be found in almost all the health facilities.
￼"The name Physician Assistant-Anaesthesia (PA) was forced on us by the Medical and Dental Council (MDC) and no suggestion was taken on board. Hence we carried our concern to parliament for which the name was changed from PA to CRA through the Health Professions Regulatory Bodies Act 857, act (2013)," CRAs intimated.
Read Full Letter Below:
Read Full Letter Below:
GHANA ASSOCIATION OF CERTIFIED REGISTERED ANAESTHETISTS
c/o Ridge Hospital
P.O. Box 473
Tel: 0244732359, 0244175621
4th April, 2019
The Minister for Health
Ministry of Health
WITHDRAWAL OF ANAESTHESIA SERVICES
The need to change our name became extremely necessary in 2013 when statistics indicated all anaesthesia services in the country are almost provided by the Certified Registered Anaesthetists (CRA) without the presence of Physician Anaesthetist in or within the operating room. It has remained the same till date.
In the practice of anaesthesia, supervision in absentia is non-ethical and frowns on best practices. The name Physician Assistant-Anaesthesia (PA) was forced on us by the Medical and Dental Council (MDC) and no suggestion was taken on board. Hence we carried our concern to parliament for which the name was changed from PA to CRA through the Health Professions Regulatory Bodies Act 857, act (2013).
After the passage of the act, all attempts have been made by the Doctor Anaesthetists through the MDC to have the name reversed. As a result, the current development to have the act amended is no news. We have written to the Ministry and other stakeholders and advised that should not be done because it carries serious implications to the interest of the patients we serve.
We have cited a copy of a drafted amendment B of part 2 of the Health Profession Regulatory Bodies Act 857, Act 2013 championed by MDC on behalf of Ministry of Health to change the name from CRA to PA. This has generated a state of unrest among the rank and file of our members in the country.
We wish to state that;
1. The name "Certified Registered Anaesthetist should not be changed to Physician Assistant.
2. We should be engaged in all other discussions in relation to the amendment of the provisions of the act.
3. There is the urgent need for us to have a separate regulatory council.
Other unrelated issues to the amendment affecting the association that has not been addressed
1. Lack of carrier progression
2. Appointing CRAs as the head of departments/unit in the hospitals.
3. Including CRAs in the management team of the hospitals
The following roadmap has been developed by the National Executive Council if the above concerns are not addressed;
1. Withdrawal of anaesthesia services for elective surgeries from Friday 11 - 15th April, 2019.
2. Withdrawal of anaesthesia services for both elective and emergency surgeries from 16th April, 2019.
Mr James Nwinsagra
(National Vice President)
Mr Linús B. Beyuo
The Chairman, Parliamentary Select Committee on Health, Parliament House
The Director-General, Ghana Health Service
The Executive Secretary, CHAC
The Chief Executive Officer, Korle-bu Teaching Hospital, Accra
The Chief Executive Officer, Tamale Teaching Hospital, Tamale
The Chief Executive Officer, Komfo - Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi
The Chief Executive Officer, Cape-Coast Teaching Hospital, Cape- coast