GMA calls for suspension of private funding of postgraduate medical training

The Ghana Medical Association Sunday called on government to suspend the decision to withdraw state funding of postgraduate medical training in Ghana from the 2012/2013 academic year pending stakeholder consultations. The call was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of its fourth National Executive Council Meeting in Ho. The National Executive Council (NEC) of the GMA “is disappointed by repeated attempts by the Ministry of Health and the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons to suddenly re-introduce this policy on funding postgraduate medical training in Ghana without adequate stakeholder consultations”, the communiqué said. The communiqué said similar attempts were made two years ago to introduce the policy of private funding “only to be shelved after several protests from the GMA and other stakeholders”. It said: “Central government cannot totally abdicate its role in providing core funding support especially in respect of certain essential specialties critical to national health needs”. The communiqué cautioned that the implementation of the policy would erode gains made in stemming the brain drain of medical specialists following the introduction of postgraduate medical training locally. Dr Kwabena Opoku-Adusei, President of the Association, explained that if the current decision was upheld, only the teaching hospitals and other bigger institutions would be able to sponsor their medical staff for specialist training and in which case the government’s efforts to have medical specialists work in other parts of the country would be defeated.