20 Cuban specialist doctors arrive to support Ghana’s healthcare system

BY: Juliet Akyaa Safo
 Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu (left) with Mr Pedro Luis Despaigne (right) signing the MoU.    Picture: Mercy Amparbeng
Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu (left) with Mr Pedro Luis Despaigne (right) signing the MoU. Picture: Mercy Amparbeng

Twenty Cuban specialist doctors are in the country to support Ghana’s healthcare system, particularly in specialised areas.

The doctors include intensive care specialists, pathologists, nephrologists (kidney specialists), cardiologists (heart specialist) and internal medicine specialists.

Others are anesthesiologists (care before and after surgery), clinical specialists, oncologists (cancer) specialist and orthopaedic surgeons (skeletal deformities specialists).

They will be rendering services at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, the Tamale Teaching Hospital, the Greater Accra Regional Hospital and the St Johns Hospital, among others.

The Ministry of Health and officials from the Cuban Embassy yesterday signed a two-year agreement in Accra to that effect.

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The Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, signed on behalf of Ghana, while the Cuban Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Pedro Luis Despaigne Gonzalez, initialled for his country.

Mr Agyeman-Manu said the renewed agreement was to help address the uneven geographical distribution of specialised doctors across the country, which he noted, was one of the challenges in the country’s health sector.

“Some two cities in the country take more than 60 per cent of medical practitioners, therefore this engagement with the Cuban government to support us with specialists would help provide equity in quality health care across the country,” he said.

The minister thanked the Cuban government for its support over the years and pledged the safety of the doctors in the country.

“We have alerted National Security and proper security arrangements have been put in place to protect them,” he added.

Bilateral relations

Mr Gonzalez said although the agreement focused on the health sector, it was part of efforts to strengthen bi-lateral relations between the two countries.

He indicated that Cuba had since 1983, supported the healthcare system in Ghana by bringing in doctors to work in the country.

“We are not only bringing in Cuban doctors to support health delivery, but also helping in developing Ghana’s human resources.

“That is why more than 3,000 Ghanaians have studied in different fields of medicine in Cuba since 1983,” the ambassador stated.

According to Mr Gonzalez, this year would commemorate the 60th anniversary of Cuba’s diplomatic relations with Ghana and expressed his country’s commitment to continue collaborating with Ghana in health, education and other sectors.