The Ghana Medical and Dental Council has expressed worry about the low doctor-patient ratio in the country.
According to the council, the ratio is disturbing and does not augur well for the sector.
Currently, a doctor in Ghana is responsible for about 4,000 patients, a situation that is negatively affecting quality healthcare delivery and systems in the country.
Speaking to Citi News, the Registrar at the Ghana Medical and Dental Council, Dr. Eli Atikpui called on the government to focus on expanding facilities in medical schools.
“We had one doctor to about 8000 -10,000 patients. Five years later we came down to about a doctor to 6,000. Currently, we have one doctor to 4,000 population. If Ghana’s population is pegged at 28 million and we have a little over 7,000 doctors who have registered and are in good standing. I think there is a need for us to start expanding the facilities especially our faculty.”
Meanwhile, the Council has announced plans to cap examination attempts for foreign-trained Ghanaian doctors who want to be integrated into the Ghana Health Service.
According to Dr. Atikpui, such doctors will now be allowed to write the exams for only five times effective June 2021.
“Until February this year, you could take the examination as many times as you could and we have had people who have taken the examinations seven times. The board has taken a decision that come June 2021 you will only have five chances to take the examination.”
He further stated that the capping is necessary to disallow multiple attempts which had existed until February 2019.
“We conduct three examinations in a year so assuming I am going in for the first time this October, then I should be able to make it up by June, 2021. I should have had five attempts and we think that we shouldn't leave people to continue to gamble with this our examinations as many times as they wish to do it. It's human life and you and I are potential patients. The council wishes to ensure that if we put anyone out there with the license to practice, that individual has the knowledge and skill to practice efficiently and adequately.”
Recently, 250 Ghanaian doctors, who were trained in Cuba, returned to the country but have asked for the scrapping of the mandatory examination by the Ghana Medical and Dental Council.
This is a mandatory examination before their integration into the Ghana Health Service.