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General News of Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

Cuba-trained doctors: NDC gov’t didn’t get good deal – Scholarship Secretariat

Kingsley Agyemang78 Registrar of the Scholarship Secretariat, Kingsley Agyemang

The Registrar of the Scholarship Secretariat, Kingsley Agyemang, says the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government could have done better with funding negotiations for the 250 Ghanaian students who were trained in Cuba under government scholarships.

According to him, the cost of tuition and accommodation as negotiated by the NDC government some six years ago was $96,090 per student.

Mr. Agyemang said the current government was able to review the deal for more favourable terms.

“In 2019, led by President Akufo-Addo, it reduced to $55,000 [the cost] per student. What it means is that what we are seeing could have been able to double the number,” he said.

Mr. Agyemang was speaking during a ceremony to hand over the students who have successfully completed their course to the Ministry of Health for onward postings to health institutions.

Deputy Health Minister, Alexander Abban revealed that the government spent $37 million to train the doctors sent to Cuba.

“On average, 150, 000 dollars was expended on each one of them. If you do the Mathematics as against 250 students who were transported to that country, it comes to 37, 500,000 dollars.”

The payment included tuition, feeding, accommodation and monthly stipends for the seven-year stay in Cuba.

This arrival of the doctors marked the latest leg in Ghana’s cooperation with Cuba in the area of health.

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia recently facilitated a training opportunity for 40 brilliant and needy medical students from Zongos, inner cities and other deprived communities in the country.

According to the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, Cuba accepted to undertake the programme following a proposal from the Vice President to the Government of Cuba to extend the special arrangement between the two countries for the training of health personnel in deprived communities.