By Richard Attenkah & David Fianko-Okyere
Plans are far advanced for the establishment of a Teaching Hospital to help students in the Physician Assistant (PA) Department of the Central University College (CUC) at its Miotso campus, to undertake their practicals on campus.
The establishment of the teaching hospital will also give residents in the Miotso community easy access to quality healthcare, because the hospital is expected to be a modern facility.
This was disclosed by Prof. Gadzepo, President of the CUC, at the inauguration and induction of a 13-member-executive committee to run the affairs of the Physicians’ Assistant Students Association of Ghana (PASAG), last Friday, at the University College Miotso campus.
The Association, which seeks to bring all physician assistants in Ghana and Africa under one umbrella to help make their role in health delivery appreciated, is the initiative of the University College, and the first of its kind to be established in Ghana, and second to South Africa.
The association currently, has 224 members who are all students of the PA Department of the CUC, mainly because it is the only institution in the country that runs the programme.
Out of the number, 79 are at level 300, 53 – level 200, 72 – level 100 and 20 – level 400.
Prof. Gadzepo said the school saw the need to introduce the Physician Assistant Programme to train paramedics to complement the work of medical doctors to boost the health delivery system in the country.
He hinted that his doors were opened to the students at all times, saying that the PA programme was a specialised one, due to their role in health delivery in society, adding, “I am personally happy for this association that you are alive and kicking.”
Dr. Benjamin Aflakpui, Head of the Physician Assistant Department of the CUC who chaired the function, urged members of the association to study hard, because even though their chosen profession had a ready market, it required hard work to succeed.
He said out of the approximately 24 million Ghanaians in the country, there were only 2,000 medical doctors, which was grossly inadequate, emphasising that their services would greatly be sought after, immediately they complete the programme, to fill the vacuum in the health sector. “Hospitals across the country contacted my office looking for some of the students who graduated last year; what was amazing, was that they were asking us how much they should be paid,” he added.
Members of the 13-member-executive committee include Emile Asiedu (president), Alexander Larbi (vice- president), Nana Yaa Asare (secretary), Dina Agala (vice secretary), Eric Odai (organiser), David Amankwa (vice organiser), Edward Amo- Kofi (finance secretary), Jatuat Kumbiaku (vice finance secretary), Rev. Blerousi Akpaloo (Public Relations Officer (PRO).
The rest are Alexander Holbrook (vice PRO), Marjorie Anim (women commissioner), Noah Tetteh (local health officer) and Lucy Baidoo (vice local health officer).