Three hundred and forty-six newly qualified physician assistants have been inducted into the profession by the Medical and Dental Council.
The ceremony was organised for individuals who had completed the prescribed and approved academic and practical training for Physician Assistants.
They have all written and passed the Licensure Examinations conducted by the MDC Ghana and, therefore, met the appropriate training standards for practice in Ghana.
The inductees were drawn from 14 universities and other health colleges across the country.
At the ceremony which took place at the Accra International Conference Centre last Saturday, a deputy Minister of Health, Alhaji Mahama Asei Seini, congratulated the inductees on their historical record of scores in the Council's Licensure Examinations.
He also commended the MDC for the constant upgrading of professionals in the country to ensure expanded access to quality health care across the nation.
He said he was excited that the ministry was receiving into its fold another batch of freshly qualified physician assistants into the profession of medicine at a point when healthcare workers were on the frontline battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the ministry was looking forward to a long working relationship with the newly qualified professionals while urging them to remember the oath they had taken.
In keeping with the high regard that society accorded healthcare professionals, Alhaji Seini said that society rightly expected a correspondingly high standard of professionalism and conduct.
He stated that the object of the council was to secure the highest standards in the training and practice of medicine and dentistry in Ghana.
Regrettably, he said, often the allure of specialised knowledge and success, if not properly managed, tended to result in bloated egos or inconsiderate conduct which might make one lose their humanity.
“Any keen follower of the healthcare sector would have noticed that recent media reportage is replete with claims of professional negligence, improper construct and unethical behaviour by our doctors, dentists, physician assistants and our nurses,” Alhaji Seini said.
“The very people who openly swore the Hippocratic oath and committed themselves to serve us in our most vulnerable states are now our abusers,” he added.
In accordance with the ministry’s focus on issues of professional and institutional accountability, he said the council had embarked on a number of reforms some of which included the introduction of the practitioners’ stamp, name tap and appropriate professional apparel policy to enforce professional standards and promote easy identification of the various categories of practitioners.
The deputy minister, therefore, requested the support of all stakeholders to advance the quality of medical training and practice for the collective good of the nation.
He also commended all frontline health workers who had been at the forefront of the response in the fight against the pandemic.
“Your dedication, commitment and courage deserve our deepest gratitude and admiration. Your service to patients is saving countless lives and making a difference in the lives of many,” he said.
The Registrar of the MDC Ghana, Dr Devine Ndonbi Banyubala, reminded the inductees that a greater responsibility in the care of patients had been laid at their feet as they took the role of frontline professionals.
That role, he said, included the responsibility to decide between life and death.
He said it was important that having met the basic training requirements, the MDC Ghana formerly admitted them to the profession, registered them and regulated their pre-registration practices.
Dr Banyubala said they would be eligible for permanent registration only after they had met the pre-registration standards.
He said a great professional practice experience was required of them to smile, calm nerves, have a listening ear and a kind heart.
“With much said, I congratulate our best qualified physician assistants and welcome them to the noble, honourable and learned professions of medicine and dentistry,” the Registrar said.