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Re-Strategise To Achieve Health Goals, Veep Tells GMA   
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Vice-President John Dramani Mahama
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Vice-President John Dramani Mahama has called on the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) to re-strategise and develop new initiatives to overcome the challenges facing the health sector in the country.

He said the challenges that confronted the health sector 50 years ago had changed in nature and essence and there was the need for commitment to re-strategise to adapt to changes and develop new initiatives to overcome the challenges that would confront the sector in the next fifty years.

Vice-President Mahama made the call in an address read on his behalf by Dr. Benjamin Kumbour, Minister designate for Health, at the 51st Annual General Conference of the GMA in Tamale on Friday.

The Conference was under the theme: "towards a better health care for Ghana- The human resource challenges and solutions".

The Vice-President told the GMA ensure that plans and programmes in the health sector were informed by the culture of the people and the circumstances of the country vis-a vis the changes in global trends, saying "in other words, think locally and act globally".

He hoped that at the end of the Conference the GMA would come out with a communiqué to show the way forward in achieving the goals and aspirations to create a customer-friendly, efficient and effective health system for all Ghanaians.

Vice-President Mahama said despite the relative short period of the NDC in government it had shown the political commitment in the provision of better health delivery for the country through among other things; sustained budgetary allocations to the health sector, the introduction of mechanisms to increase access to health and improvement in the provision of health infrastructure.

He said government had ensured the appropriate human resource management systems to attract and retain trained staff and provided incentives at hardship areas, adding that; "what we need now is the individual commitment of medical professionals to the cause and unflinching support of our development partners".

Dr. Emmanuel Adom Winful, President of the GMA, observed that the theme for the conference had been chosen to highlight the dire circumstances of the northern sector of the country as far as health delivery was concerned.

He said it was regrettable that the Northern region had 51 doctors, Upper East Region 33 doctors and Upper West 15 doctors.

Dr Winful noted that there were similar trends in respect of postings of other categories of health professionals to the three regions and said after 52 years of independence the existing situation was an indictment on all who had a hand in the management of the health delivery system in the country.

He called on all stakeholders in health delivery to put in place measures to correct the skewed distribution of health personnel in the country.

The President of the GMA noted that until there was total transparency and fair play in the transfers and also transfers based on the needs of institutions there would always be "brave" people who would refuse postings to deprived areas.

He called on the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the District Assemblies to provide basic infrastructure that would enable doctors and other health workers to live and work in deprived areas.

Mr. Stephen Sumani Nayina, Northern Regional Minister, said the Regional Coordinating Council and the district assemblies in the region were prepared to secure accommodation for health professionals posted to the area.

He said incentive packages were also been worked out for those who would accept postings to the region and particularly those who were prepared to serve in the rural areas.
Source: GNA

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