The School of Anaesthesia and Critical Care at Ridge in Accra would start a Master’s Programme with subspecialties in Regional Anaesthesia Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and General Anaesthesia.
The Acting Director of the School, Dr Evans Atito-Narh said to provide the students with career progression, it was incumbent on the Management to start the Master’s programme after completion of the accreditation process and blessing from the Ministry of Health.
Speaking at a durbar in Accra to mark the 10th Anniversary celebration of the School, on the theme; “10 Years of Anaesthesia Education: The Ridge Experience,” Dr Atito-Narh said the School, established on September 26, 2009, was the third School of Anaesthesia in Ghana after the one in Kumasi and the 37 Military Hospital.
He said the idea for establishing it at the Ridge Regional Hospital to train non-physicians into anaesthetists was hatched a little over 10 years ago due to challenges confronting hospitals in the Greater Accra Region and the country as a whole.
Dr Atito-Narh said over the 10 years, the School had produced more than 300 anaesthetists working in hospitals all over the country and commended late Dr Jonathan Kumah and Dr G. Crenstil for hatching the idea and building on it.
Touching on the challenges of the School, he mentioned lack of accommodation for students, permanent lecturers, vehicles and classrooms as major hindrance to their academic and practical work and urged the government to go to their aid.
“We need financial support from both the Government and other NGOs. Running of the school on only fees paid by students makes it difficult for us to be able to remunerate our lecturers appropriately. This has resulted in the practice where some lecturers come for only one semester and refuse to continue teaching.”
He noted the School had relied on the benevolence of a number of individuals whose contributions had made it what it is today.
Deputy Health Minister, Tina Mensah commended the School for training great anaesthetists adding; “The establishment of the School has brought immense support to patients who undergo surgery, especially women who go through labour”.
‘’The Ministry will continue to create the requisite atmosphere and provide the needed support in the midst of limited resources in order to ensure that basic quality health services are accessible to all persons in Ghana through the act of competent and highly motivated health workforce’’ she said.
Ms Mensah said the Ministry would do its best to alleviate some of the challenges the school faced.
She advised the nurses to work harder and commended them for their contribution to healthcare delivery while calling on anaesthetists to continue to mentor the students.
Managing Director, Ridge Regional Hospital, Dr Emmanuel Srofenyo said the Hospital had 11 theatres but was currently utilizing between five and six due to inadequate anaesthetists and other critical care nurses.
He, therefore, urged the School to extend its mandate to train more critical care nurses to support their work.
President of Association of Certified Registered Anaesthetists, Jacob M. Wumbei, said the School kept showing greater signs of growth and the Master’s programme would further improve it.
He commended the founders and current Management for maintaining high ethical standards and increasing the Association’s membership.
He said currently one anaesthetist attended to nine patients and called for support for the school to train more to fill the gap.