Ghana: 1,130 Allied Health Professionals Inducted

20 September 2019

The 7th induction of allied health professionals was held in Accra yesterday with a charge on its council to liaise with relevant agencies to rid the industry of impostors.

Deputy Minister of Health, Alexander Kom Abban, who made the call, asked all agencies of the Ministry of Health and private health facilities to "ensure that only qualified and licensed allied health practitioners are employed".

The council, he directed, "should collaborate with the Health Facilities Regulatory Agency (HEFRA) and the security agencies, to as a matter of urgency, monitor all facilities and clear the system of all quacks.

"It is important that appropriate sanctions as provided for in the Health Professions Regulatory Bodies Act 857 (2013), are applied to institutions which continue to employ such unqualified people and thereby infringe on the law," the Deputy Minister insisted.

A total of 1,130 professionals comprising medical laboratory scientists, physiotherapists, radiographers, sonographers, optometrists, audiologists and medical physicists among others took the Allied Health Oath not to put their personal gain or advancement above professional duties to their clients.

Mr Abban, expressing concern about the harm posed to the unsuspecting public who increasingly patronise the services of quacks, implored inductees to uphold the highest ethical standards in their field of practice.

He entreated them to accept postings to rural and deprived communities to realise government's aim of achieving universal health coverage (UHC) by 2020.

"Remember the fiduciary relationship and responsibilities you owe to your clients, employers and humanity in general, and let these principles guide your practice. Treat your patients and clients with love, care and sympathy."

The Deputy Minister further used the platform to appeal to all health workers to engage government in dialogue over their grievances instead of resorting to strike actions, pledging government's preparedness to improve working conditions of employees.

Speaking on the theme for the ceremony, "Achieving Ghana's Universal Health Coverage: The Role of the Allied Health Professional", Dean, School of Biomedical and Allied Health Sciences (University of Ghana), Professor Solomon Ofori Acquah, advised inductees to embrace team work in the practice.

In his view, such trait coupled with transparency, innovation, professional identity and a spirit of excellence, is essential to enable the inductees travel the long road in the profession.

"I believe so much in the potential of allied health professions to transform the health economy of this country, as you can be encouraged to form your own businesses to help grow the economy.

"So, graduates don't let me down, finish your internships, set up businesses, become innovators and help us uplift the image of the allied health profession and improve the financial health of our beloved country," he advised.

On his part, Registrar of the Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC), Dr Samuel Yaw Opoku, called for the provision of adequate resources to the council to enable it deliver on its mandate.

He was worried about the unemployment of its qualified members despite acute shortage of such professionals in most health facilities in the country, appealing to government to take steps to address the issue.

Dr Opoku cautioned the inductees against holding themselves out as qualified practitioners until they had completed the year's internship programme, undertaken the council's licensure examination and acquired needed certification.

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