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More Doctors Refuse Posting   
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The perennial problem of doctors other health professionals refusing postings to the Northern Region has come to the fore again because only one out of the eight fresh doctors posted to the region last year reported for duty.

Additionally, out of 13 pharmacists posted to the region only three have reported for work. Two months into the New Year, none of the 15 doctors who were posted to the region this year has confirmed their acceptance of the postings.

The northern Regional Health Directorate has described the situation as critical and appealed to the government to find some innovative ways of attracting health professionals to the region. At the opening of the 2009 Annual Heath Performance Review for the region in Tamale on Wednesday, the Northern Regional Director Health, Dr Akwasi Twumasi, said human resource constraints had been topmost among the challenges facing health delivery in the region.

“But for the assistance from Cuban medical staff, health delivery in the region would have plunged into deep crisis,” he said. Dr Twumasi, however, observed that in spite of the challenges, the region recorded progress in some areas, notably in the eradication of Guinea worm, the promotion of skilled deliveries and the improvement in antenatal coverage.

“While the number of Guinea worm cases reported last year stood at 242 as against 501 in 2008, that of skilled deliveries increased by 34 per cent,” the director mentioned. He also indicated that the construction of more health facilities in the region was progressing, adding that in June this year the construction of five polyclinics in some districts would be completed.

The Northern Regional Minister-designate, Mr Moses Bukari Mabengba, described the region’s doctor to patient ratio of 1: 26, 000 as unacceptable and assured health professionals who had been posted to the region that his outfit would guarantee their security and welfare if they accepted to serve in the region.

“The Regional Co-ordinating Council can assure all health professionals that several measures have been put in place to ensure their comfort and security,” he stated. Mr Mabengba, however, dispelled the perception that there was insecurity in the region, adding that many health workers who had accepted to serve in the region had realized the peace and hospitality in the area and were not prepared to leave.

He pledged to liaise with all the district assemblies in the region to ensure that the accommodation and related needs of health professionals were duly addressed so as to encourage them to stay and work.

This year’s review is on the theme: “Putting customer care at the centre of health service delivery”, sponsored by the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Source: Daily Graphic/Ghana

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