Health State Minister Dr. Kebede Worku said the number of doctors graduating from various universities is growing at a promising pace.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of Arsi University School of Health Sciences , Dr. Kebede Saturday said: "12 years ago, there were only three medical schools allover the country, now we have over 28 public and eight private referral and teaching colleges with the capacity to graduate over two thousand doctors a year."
Indicating that the doctor-to-patient ratio has currently fallen to one-to-fifteen thousand he said the ministry in partnership with the ministry of education is aggressively working to reduce the ratio one-to-ten thousand in the near future.
In doing so ,13 universities have been selected to train those with the related background to pursue their education in medicine, Dr. Kebede added.
Moreover, he noted that in parallel to the teaching learning process, the referral and teaching hospitals are providing integral health care services to the community.
University School of Health Sciences Chief Executive Director Dr. Dejene Lema said on the occasion that the then Assela hospital was established 50 years ago to treat 60 inpatients.
Dr. Dejene said Assela referral and teaching hospital is rendering health-care services to 3.5 million people in the environs .
One of the graduates, Dr. Zulefia Nur Mohamed told the reporter that having spent a great deal of time together in the camps , her classmates and her are now like brothers and sisters. " Aside from providing quality health care, we are ready to serve our community with full respect and care."
Among the 168 graduates, 98 are physicians , 30 public health officers, 40 nurses and 20 midwifes.
Assela Health Sciences College was transferred from Adama Science and Technology University to Arsi University two years ago, it was learnt.