Health Minister orders scrap of foreign medical voluntary fee

Minister of Health Dr George Sipa Yankey on Thursday directed the Ghana Medical and Dental Council to scrap the 400 dollar fee paid by foreign medical volunteers who offer medical services in the country. The fee used for registration and license, would now be catered for by the Ministry. Dr. Sipa Yankey who gave the directive during a meeting with a medical team from the United States in the country to offer medical services in some selected regions, said it was to relieve the volunteers of the frustrations they go through and the cumbersome nature of the registration. The 75-member medical team would be offering services at the Ridge and Sunyani Government Hospitals, Tema General Hospital, Korle Bu and Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospitals. The services would include Obstetrics and Gynaecology as well as other general services. Dr. Sipa Yankey noted that the ministry would regularise the contribution by medical volunteers to the health care delivery system of the country and register all Ghanaian and non-Ghanaian medical doctors resident in the United States who would prefer to work in Ghana. “We will agree with them on a schedule of visits to Ghana, time and locations to their satisfaction as well as the necessary requirements before their arrival in the country,” he said. The Health Minister said a Foreign Voluntary Medical Service Department would be established in the Ministry to manage the enterprise of collaboration. Dr. Sipa Yankey said government was determined to make Ghana the medical hub of Africa by ensuring that high level international medical conferences were hosted in Ghana. He urged medical schools and teaching hospitals to be an integral part. He pledged government’s support to the team and commended them for the services they would render. Dr Elias Sory, Director General of Ghana Health Services (GHS), called on government to provide the selected hospitals with all the needed resources to enable them to function efficiently and effectively. Dr. Medge Owen, Leader of the team, said their vision was to provide safe child delivery and pledged their collaboration with GHS to make Obstetric management safer and reduce maternal mortality.