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‘Medical doctors must be involved in national discourse’

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A Doctor

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has urged medical doctors to enrich public discussions with their expertise.

According to the President, people in the medical sector are seldom engaged in debates of national interest, thereby depriving such conversations of their knowledge and technical know-how.

The President was speaking at the maiden celebration of National Women Physicians’ Day, organised by the Medical Women’s Association of Ghana (MWAG).

The event was in honour of Dr. Susan Barbara Gyankroma Ofori-Atta, the first female Ghanaian doctor.

“I want to say to members of this association and indeed to doctors across the country that you are also active citizens and you should bring doctors perspectives to public issues. You cannot afford to be narrow in outlook.

“But you must develop and maintain a healthy interest in civic matters, the arts, literature, music, the environment, sports, public life, and yes, I want each one of you gathered here to be a renaissance woman. There’s nothing static about your discipline…,” he said.

Gain Confidence

The President told the gathering to work to gain the confidence of their patients, as they do not take chances with their lives, compared to choosing a mechanic to work of their vehicles.

According to the President, medical doctors are very much revered in society and the title ‘doctor’ instinctively invokes respect and unquestioning trust.

“We seem prepared to take chances at the expense of other aspects of our lives, but not with doctors. We entrust our expensive cars to the hands of mechanics and fitters, some with doubtful qualifications.

“We are willing to cut corners when it comes to building a house, the single biggest investment we are ever likely to make in our lives. We engage some artisans with questionable credentials. These days, we take chances with our souls and go to some pastors with suspicious integrity.

“However, when it comes to medical doctors, we want to be certain that they are well trained and have authentic qualifications. We do not know any take chances with medical doctors of doubtful qualifications.

“This is not surprising. Good health is fundamental to all we do and hope to do. It is the reason access to quality health is a right that is enshrined in the constitution.”

The President noted that the constitutional requirement would be achieved if only health institutions produce the required numbers of competent personnel with right qualifications.

On the matter of the retention of doctors and medical personnel in the country, President Akufo-Addo said it was one of the ways of achieving the constitutional requirement.

In that regard, he said governments over the years had strived to create an enabling working environment for doctors.

According to the President, his government recently signed improved conditions of service with the Ghana Medical Association, the body responsible for doctors in Ghana.

Association President

The President of the Medical Women’s Association of Ghana, Dr. Marion Okoh-Owusu, said the committee had agreed to honour Dr Susan Ofori-Atta on December 8 every year, the birthday of Dr Ofori-Atta, as a special day for female doctors.

“Female doctors positively impact Ghana’s health system and continue to deliver results in diverse fields of practice,” she said, and added that the association was mentoring female science students to become medical doctors in the future.

The celebrant was the daughter of the Nana Sir Ofori-Atta, the Okyenhene. Aside Dr Ofori-Atta’s successful medical career was actively involved in issues affecting the country and served in the consultative assembly that drafted the Constitution of the Second Republic.

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