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General News of Thursday, 31 July 2014


Zero doctors in some districts; Group lashes out at gov’t

For several years, hospitals in some districts within the Upper West, Brong Ahafo and Volta Regions have been without a single qualified doctor, a situation that has led to needless and avoidable deaths.

The Universal Access to Healthcare Campaign (UAHC) is angry about the phenomenon and is wondering what the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service is doing about the situation.

In a statement signed by the National Coordinator, Sidua Hor the campaign wants the two supervisory institutions to "explain why they should continue to receive their salaries when they cannot deploy medical doctors and other health professionals to some districts in the country."

"The Campaign’s checks indicate that, there is a dire need of doctors in some districts in the Upper East, Upper West, Brong Ahafo and Volta Region and this has been the case for several years now.

"Currently, in the Upper West Region, four out of the eleven districts do not have a trained medical doctor. The four districts are Wa East, Dafiama-Busie-Issaah, Lambusie-Kane and Sissala West. The worst case is the Wa East District (Funsi), where it takes a patient about 80 kilometers to get to the nearest doctor in Tumu in the Sissala East District.

"Out of 27 districts in the Brong Ahafo region, five districts do not have a trained medical officer. The five districts are Banda, Asonafo South, Nkrankwata, Sene East and Dormaa West. For 2012 in the Upper East Region, though 15 doctors were posted to the region, only three reported and never stayed," the campaign quotes the 2012 Annual Report of Ghana Health Service, Upper East Region as saying.

That same report stated a worrying trend in which most of the health professionals are stationed in Accra to the disadvantage of other regions.

"For instance, the Region has 820 doctors when some districts, as indicated above, do not even have one medical doctor." the statement said.

The campaign is therefore asking the Ministry and the Ghana health service why they have allowed doctors who refused postings to some of the districts to practice in other public health facilities in Kumasi and Accra.

In an interview with Joy News, the Coordinator Sidua Hor said the appropriate institutions must be up and doing in order to reverse the trend.

He also demanded from the Ghana Medical Association why they continuously refuse postings to some districts in the country.

While acknowledging there are not enough trained medical doctors in the country he said "it is possible to have at least one medical doctor, in each district if the said Directorates do their work well".