The Ghana Health Service has announced that it will adopt a quota system in employing medical doctors and dentists in the country.
According to the Director General of the Service, Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare, the quota system will help check the practice where young doctors posted to rural areas reject such appointments.
Ghana’s doctor to patient ratio currently stands at one doctor to 8,000 patients a situation analysts have described as woefully inadequate.
Dr Asare, who made the revelation over the weekend when he addressed a graduation ceremony at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), stated that doctors will now have to apply to their respective regions before they can be employed.
“Our rural and deprived communities remains one of the priorities of this country. This explains why efforts are being made to ensure that each district should have a functional hospital that befits its status,” he said.
“Unfortunately, it has been observed that most young medical officers and dentists are reluctant to accept postings to work in such needy areas after their housemanship,” Dr. Asare added.
The Director General added that, “this year, we have started interviewing doctors, we are not posting them anymore. We will not sit in Accra again and post any doctor.”
Don’t see rural postings as punishment – Nana Addo to doctors
The President, Nana Akufo-Addo had earlier admonished young doctors not to see postings to rural areas as punishment but treat it as a way of contributing their quota to the development of Ghana.
“Our doctor patient ratio is even more lump sided when you get to the rural and deprived areas of our country. I do not put the all the blame on our medical doctors unwillingness to work in these communities. If we had good road networks and good schools are available around the country and not only in the urban centers, if we had electricity supply in all communities we will not have to be asked indeed insist that our young doctors take up postings in the rural communities. As we train more doctors to solve the shortage of doctors, we must also do more to keep them,” he added.