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General News of Monday, 25 January 1999

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MOH works out compensation for Oldroyd's victim

Accra (Greater Accra) 25 Jan '99

The Ministry of Health is working out a compensation with the Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO) for a victim of Dr Jay Oldroyd, a former medical officer at the VALCO clinic. In an interview with the GNA in Accra today, the Minister of Health, Mr Samuel Nuamah Donkor, said payment of the compensation will be based on a recommendations of the Medical and Dental Council which investigated the matter. The Minister did not say whether the Council's report which was presented in December last year confirmed the allegations made against the doctor or not. In April 1997, Dr Oldroyd was alleged to have drunk the blood of a female patient who was on admission at the maternity unit of the VALCO hospital. He left the country soon after the alarm was raised over the issue by the husband of the victim. Mr Nuamah Donkor said the Ministry is taking measures to check the re-occurrence such incidents in the future. For instance, he said, private hospitals, clinics and maternity homes which want to employ foreign health professionals will be required to submit their applications well in time for scrutiny and registration before the arrival of such professionals. This measure, which will affect both short and long term programmes, will ensure that the registration and procedure for practising are well scrutinised to conform with medical ethics and provision of quality services. He said the Medical and Dental Council will computerised the processing of these applications to ensure that "no medical practitioner is allowed to practice" without proper registration procedure. Mr Nuamah Donkor said the Medical and Dental Act will soon be reviewed to be abreast with realities. For example, the Act does not give the Council authority to subpoena witnesses to appear before its disciplinary committee thus making investigations difficult and cumbersome.