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General News of Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Source: primenewsghana.com

Doctors don’t eat fame - Angry doctor jabs Health Ministry PRO

Doctors in the country don’t eat fame, they need money to survive just like any other human being and it is unacceptable to hundreds of newly trained ones are languishing in the house jobless, when health facilities are in dire need of their services

That is the rather angry reaction of one of the unemployed doctors Nana Kissi Attafuah, to an all too familiar seemingly empty assurance from the Health Ministry to engage as soon as possible.

After completing their housemanship at various public health facilities in the country, the doctors, nearly eight hundred of them, are yet to be fully engaged by government to begin official work. The situation has left some of them frustrated, forcing them to either leave the country to seek greener pastures abroad, or move to the private sector, where the living conditions are far better.

The unemployed doctors have been home for about seven months, amidst several appeals to the Ministries of Health and Finance to facilitate their employment, which has so far not yielded any results. They are therefore threatening to hit the street if government is not prepared to listen to their concerns.

Speaking on an Accra based radio station, Spokesperson for the Ministry, Robert Cudjoe, said everything is being done by his outfit to ensure the doctors are employed and the necessary financial support needed given to them. Though he was unable to given timelines regarding when they will be deployed, he said doctors are “famous and respected” practitioners and should therefore not take their issues to the media.

But his comments infuriated Dr. Attafuah who questioned the wisdom in what Mr. Cudjoe said. He said doctors are human beings who don’t eat fame but need money so they can enjoy life.

“Christmas is coming and we need money to buy chicken, not fame,” he said. “These politicians are the same people who continue to make promises but soon as they get the power fail to put their words into action.”

The is not the first time the issue has come up for public discussion. The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) in March warned that government’s attitude towards the posting of medical doctors could usher in another era of ‘brain drain’ in the country.

The Association was concern about the non-deployment or posting of over 200 hundred jobless medical doctors in the country.

Deputy General Secretary of the GMA, Dr. Justice Yankson, cautioned government of the long-term implications of its handling of the doctors, within the context of its constitutional mandate to provide Ghanaians with quality healthcare.

“The unfortunate thing is that, there are districts in this country that don’t even have doctors or sometimes, only one doctor serving a whole district. The doctor-patient ratio in this country is still way off the mark.”

“These are people who are ready to work. The difficulty is that, if we don’t take time, we will go back into the era where we had a lot of brain drain in this sector,” Dr. Yankson warned.

Meanwhile, some doctors are said to be receiving offers from outside the country and are ready to leave the country.