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UE/R: Regional Minister directs assemblies to sponsor medical students

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In a bid to address the shortage of medical professionals in the Upper East Region, the Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu, has issued a directive to all Municipal and District Chief Executives to sponsor at least one individual to pursue a medical degree. Under the initiative, the sponsored individuals will be bonded to work in the region upon completion of their medical studies, which is geared towards strengthening the healthcare workforce in underserved areas.

“As a region, we noticed that we don’t have enough staff, and therefore, I have directed all my DCEs to sponsor one doctor. So, within 5 to 6 years, we would have 15 doctors trained and bonded to work in this region,” he announced.

Mr. Yakubu, who made this disclosure at the opening ceremony of the 2023 performance review session of the Upper East Regional Health Services, inquired from the Municipal Chief Executive of Bolgatanga, Rex Asanga, who was present, if the assembly had started sponsoring someone, to which the MCE responded affirmatively.

The minister promised to work with the central government to roll out some tailor-made projects towards the attainment of Universal Health Coverage in the region. Mr. Yakubu mentioned the construction of 8 district hospitals under the Agenda 111 project and also the infectious disease treatment center in the Bawku West District as among the testimonies of the government’s commitment to improving health infrastructure in the region.

In past years, some doctors posted to the region either refused to report or sought reposting to other regions with the excuse that the Upper East Region was not attractive for medical doctors. In 2021, for instance, 10 medical officers posted to the region declined to report for work there.

But speaking during a health review meeting, Dr. Samuel Boakye-Boateng, the Upper East Regional Health Director, said although the region requires additional doctors, the situation at the moment is far better than it was in previous years.

“Although we don’t have adequate doctors, currently, we have a third of the doctors required. But the good thing is that the 2023 performance improved over 2022,” Dr. Boakye-Boateng stated.

In the Upper East Region, the doctor-population ratio for 2023 was 1:18,979, as against 1:22,548 in 2022.

Some individuals and institutions were awarded for their contribution to health delivery.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1Mhz|Joshua Asaah|Bolgatanga|Ghana

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