A total of 327 newly qualified doctors and dentists have been inducted into the medical profession with a call on them to treat their patients with respect and dignity.
Comprising 175 male and 152 female, the new doctors and dentists are from various accredited training institutions, including the University of Ghana (UG), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS), the University of Cape Coast (UCC), the University for Development Studies (UDS) and the Accra College of Medicine (ACM).
Joined by their family and friends to celebrate the end of their six-year training, the new doctors and dentists, spotting their white coats with their name tags, were led to swear the Hippocratic Oath.
The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, was represented by the Chief Director of the Ministry, Kwabena Boadu Oku-Afari.
Remember your oath
Mr Agyeman -Manu whose speech was read on his behalf, advised the doctors and dentists to respect their patients during an induction ceremony in Accra yesterday.
He urged the new medical doctors and dentists to "remember the oath that you have taken, the pre induction lectures and serve people with diligence, integrity, dedication and respect."
The Health Minister further said the Health Professions Regulatory Act was to secure in the public interest, the highest standards in the training and practice of medicine and dentistry in Ghana.
However, he said, the specialised knowledge and success of health care professionals "if not properly managed results in bloated egos or inconsiderate conducts and may make one loses one's humanity".
A number of policy guidelines including the practitioners appropriate professional apparel policy had been developed to enforce professional standards for easy identification of professionals working in the various health care centres.
He requested for the support of stakeholders to advance the quality of medical training and practice for the collective good of all.
He said the government was committed to ensure that Ghanaians nationwide had access to quality health care services through the national health insurance scheme and the provision of health care infrastructure among others.
The Registrar of the Medical and Dental Council, Dr Divine N. Banyubala, reminded the new doctors and dentists that their induction signified the transition from students to professionals and put the greatest responsibility of the care of patients in their hands as they took up the role as frontline medical professionals.
That, he said, included enforcing standards for all registered practitioners, and that the council would continue to monitor and track the performance of the new doctors and dentists during their housemanship.
After congratulating them, he urged them to execute their duties with a gentle smile, a listening ear, a kind heart, and a humble, decent, gentle and reassuring personality, 'all these clothed in integrity and respect for humanity."
The Board Chairman of the Medical and Dental Council, Prof. Paul K. Nyame, said the council was aware of the constraints under which medical training institutions operated, including the lack of infrastructure.
He, therefore, urged the government to expand intake infrastructure for training institutions to enable them to admit more students.
He said the new doctors and dentists would augment the existing 11,000 medical practitioners in Ghana.
Currently, he said, the number of doctors and dentists in Ghana was inadequate to provide sufficient health care for all.
That, he explained, was because while in some developed countries the doctor patient ratio was 37 doctors to 10,000 patients, in Ghana it was three doctors to 10,000 patients.