Mr Eric Opoku, Deputy Brong–Ahafo Regional Minister, on Wednesday pledged government’s commitment to expand the Kintampo Rural Health Training School to enable it offer training to more health professionals.
The school is the only institution in the country that trains Physician and Medical Assistants to provide health services mainly in the rural areas.
Mr Opoku was addressing the opening of the 2nd International Forum for Physician Assistants’ Education in Sunyani under the theme: “Education for service: learning from each other.”
Participants included selected medical trainee assistants in Ghana and Physician Assistant trainers from abroad.
The forum, which coincided with the 40th anniversary celebration of the Kintampo Rural Health Training School, was aimed at fashioning out best practices based on common experience and challenges of Physician Assistants.
Mr Opoku called for more people to be trained as Medical Assistants, since they are the movers of primary health care delivery and added that at present a huge vacuum existed because most medical professionals were refusing postings to rural communities.
He, therefore, appealed to Medical Officers and Assistants not to refuse postings to rural communities.
The participants brainstormed on the development of common training modules to harmonize the curricular of institutions that train Physician Assistants.
Mr Opoku described as embarrassing the situation where foreign health volunteers worked in deprived communities while their Ghanaian counterparts for various reasons refused postings to such areas saying “even though they have been trained to provide the same services everywhere to humanity and the nation”.
Professor Nick Ross, Head of Academic Innovation, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, who is also a founding member of the International Forum for Physician Assistants Education said the idea of the forum came up at a meeting of the International Affairs Committee of the Physician Assistant Education Association in the United States but has embraced “all voices, all traditions, all health care solutions and where everyone could learn from each other.
“Today we have taken an important step forward from being an idea, a dream, to a fully fledged organisation with a clear and important message to give to the world,” Professor Ross added.
Dr Aaron Ofei, Brong–Ahafo Regional Director of Health Services, said the forum would help improve the health standards of non-clinical Physicians or Medical Assistants as well as the quality of health service delivery.
Prof Ross later presented a certificate of appreciation to the Deputy Regional Minister and Dr Emmanuel Teye Adjase, Director of Kintampo Rural Health Training School and books to the school.
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