Gov’t Covers Licensing Fees For Cuban-Trained Doctors

Kingsley Agyemang (left) introducing one of the graduates to Alexander Abban

Government has announced it will be bearing the cost of the statutory licensing examination fees for the 220 newly trained doctors from Cuba.

The move by government is to enable the doctors to fulfill the requirement for their successful integration into the Ghanaian health system. 

The Registrar of the Ghana Scholarship Secretariat, Kingsley Agyemang, announced this during the official handover of the Cuban-trained doctors to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Accra yesterday.

He said although the graduates have successfully passed their medical examinations in Cuba, they have to sit the licensing exams by the Medical & Dental Council ((M&DC) before they can be absorbed into the country’s health system.

“My advice to you is that we must work hard and come out with a pass,” he said.

No Compromise

The Registrar of the M&DC, Dr. Eli Atikpui, stressed that the Council would not bend the rules when it comes to the sitting of the licensing exams.

“There are rules, the law requires that anybody who is not trained within the country sits and passes a registration exams at whatever level,” he indicated.

He said there is currently no exemption to the examination unless the individual holds an additional qualification obtained from the West African College of Physicians & Surgeons.

This follows calls by some section of the newly trained medical doctors from Cuba for government to reconsider the sitting of licensing exams.

“Government invests money in students and it ends up losing half of them through the exams. I want to urge the government to find a better plan of inculcating us into the system. We are ready if we have done it for the Cuban government, why can’t we do it for our home country?” one of the students queried.

But Mr. Atikpui maintained that the standard set in licensing medical practitioners in the country would not be changed as everyone is a potential patient.

“I repeat the standards remain the same,” he said.

He indicated that what the Council seeks to do is to ensure that the doctors who are licensed to practise meet a particular standard, adding that the core value is to protect the public and guide the profession.

“The Council is to secure in the public interest the highest standards in the training and practice of medicine and dentistry in Ghana and that is what we are doing,” he disclosed.

The Deputy Minister of Health, Alexander Abban, urged the doctors to make sacrifices by accepting posting to rural areas and put national agenda ahead of individual plans.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri