GMA to meet in Tamale to address doctor-patient ratio imbalance

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) will hold an Annual General Conference from November 3- November 8 in Tamale, to adopt innovative ways of addressing the doctor to patient ratio of 1: 90,000 in the Northern Region. This was contained in a communiqu� signed by Dr. Emmanuel Adom Winful, President of the GMA and Dr. Sodzi Sodzi-Tettey, General Secretary, issued in Kumasi on Sunday at the end of a three-day Third National Executive meeting. The communiqu� said the conference would factor in the strengthening of medical training in the School of Medical and Health Sciences of the University of Development Studies and the Cape Coast University. The association would focus on the building of a solid base for middle manpower post-graduate medical education and adopt strategies to attract and retain medical practitioners in Northern Ghana. The Communiqu� said �it was also the expectation of the council of the association that government would continue to engage the association to develop a comprehensive condition of service document, which has never existed�to set the stage for adequately remunerating the hard working doctors and other health professionals in the country�. �Certainly, such factors like measly salary increments of 10 per cent and improper placement of doctors on a distorted Single Salary Structure are hardly ways of addressing the identified human resource challenges.� The Communiqu� expressed concern that more than 20 million Ghanaians are served by just about 1,500 doctors while almost 70 per cent of health professionals are concentrated in the big cities. It said the maternal and child mortality indices in some of the deprived areas in the country, had largely stagnated or worsened over the years. The council called on private individuals and organisations to establish health training institutions, where people would be trained and engaged with proper remunerations to retain them at post. The communiqu� called on the government to continue to offer the necessary support and assistance to doctors engaged in post-graduate medical training in the country, while adequately resourcing overstretched existing medical schools. �Clearly, without addressing these issues, there is a real threat of an increase in the brain drain. We believe it is time that collectively we began to pay more attention to the quality of clinical care, which seems to have been neglected for a long time� the communiqu� stressed