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GMA seeks clarification of National Service policy for doctors

posted Oct 7, 2010, 7:20 PM by Ghana Medical Volunteers
GNA - The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) said on Tuesday that although it is not opposed to the rendering of National Service by its members, there is the need for due consultation on the issue.

The GMA therefore called on the National Service Secretariat, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health to as a matter of urgency engage the association in a dialogue to clarify the process. The association made this known at a press conference to launch the first ever Doctor Directory to facilitate the transfer of medical knowledge, emergency response, and discussion of patient cases and improve health care delivery.

GMA President, Dr Emmanuel Adom Winful, who addressed the conference expressed caution about the exercise, stressing: "We say this knowing fully well that Ghana has recently increased its houseman ship training from one to two years."

He said additionally, district medical practice has become a component of post graduate medical education and an important consideration in admission progress. "The implication therefore has been that in the case of doctors, almost three years of their training and practice is conditioned on one type of service or the other," he said.

"Furthermore, since national service. is done immediately on completion of school, it is worth asking the capacity in which a fresh graduate from medical school, with little clinical experience may practice medicine?"

The GMA said is improper that the announcement of such major consideration should be heard by major partners and stakeholders for the first time in the media. Dr Winful said consultation on the new policy has been poor or non existence. "It is to this extent that the GMA is writing to the relevant sector ministries for thorough discussion of the issue before such intentions become translated into certain practice that may not be in the best of interest of our members or of the nation itself," he said. It is after a thorough study of the details of this policy that the GMA will pronounce whether or not it serves the best interest of our members and the nation, he added