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College of Physicians and Surgeons to undertake fellowship training programs in regional hospitals

SourceRaphael Ghartey/myjoyonline.com

The Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons (GhCoPS) has announced that beginning next year, fellowship training programs for postgraduate doctors will be carried out in regional hospitals across the country.

According to the Rector of the College, Professor Richard Adanu, the College has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ghana Health Service for fellowship training programs to be carried out in regional hospitals.

College of Physicians and Surgeons to undertake fellowship training programmes in regional hospitals
Rector of the College, Professor Richard Adanu

Speaking at the induction ceremony and 19th Annual General Scientific Meeting of GhCoPS on Wednesday, December 7, he said this will bring fellowship training closer to doctors.

“One thing that we are doing to bring Fellowship Training closer to our members is that we are working on developing Fellowship Training programs that would primarily be housed in regional hospitals.

“Such programs when successfully launched, hopefully, next year, fellowship trainees for the general specialty areas can have their training in the regions where they practice and still provide service in their parent hospitals as part of the training. In such cases, there will be no need for study leave or a gap between membership qualification and the start of fellowship training,” he said.

He lamented the low percentage of doctors who pursue postgraduate fellowship training to the highest level.

College of Physicians and Surgeons to undertake fellowship training programmes in regional hospitals

This, he admitted has been a challenge in the health sector.

“The rising population and health care needs are also going to lead to an increase in medical schools in the years ahead. So, if an overwhelming majority of our members do not take up fellowship training, these medical schools might end up being staffed and led by non-Ghanaians who have fellowship qualifications,” he added.

Prof. Adanu noted that fellowship training enhances doctors’ practical knowledge in their specialty and makes them more competent in managing health problems, the reason more doctors should yearn to pursue postgraduate fellowship programs.

The Rector assured the new members and fellows that the College will work to resolve issues making fellowship training unattractive including minimal salary.

A total of 294 doctors were inducted into the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons (GhCoPS) as new members and fellows at the 19th Annual General Scientific meeting.

College of Physicians and Surgeons to undertake fellowship training programmes in regional hospitals

Out of the number, 212 of the doctors are new members while 40 of them are new fellows who have completed their training and passed the required examinations.

The other 42 are new fellows who have been elected by different faculties based on their qualifications and contributions to training postgraduate doctors.

This will result in 212 additional members and 82 additional fellows of the College.

Addressing the audience on behalf of the Health Minister, Deputy Health Minister, Alhaji Mahama Asei Seini said cabinet has approved a policy document that would improve the rate at which the College produces fellows and the waiting time between the completion of house office rotations and the start of residency training.

The policy, he noted will be implemented with the next intake of trainees.

“I am happy to inform you that the policy document has been approved by cabinet and would start being implemented with the next intake of trainees.”

College of Physicians and Surgeons to undertake fellowship training programmes in regional hospitals

He admitted that the current economic challenges have taken a toll on the government’s remuneration of postgraduate training at the College.

However, Alhaji Seini assured that the Ministry will ensure some significant payment is made to the postgraduate trainees before the end of this financial year.

British High Commissioner to Ghana and Special Guest of Honour at the ceremony, Harriet Thompson stated that the UK has partnered with the College of Physicians and Surgeons to address four areas in Ghana’s health sector.

College of Physicians and Surgeons to undertake fellowship training programmes in regional hospitals
British High Commissioner to Ghana, Harriet Thompson

These include; the strengthening of postgraduate medical training through partnerships between the College and four UK Royal Colleges in Emergency Medicine, Anaesthesia, Pathology, Psychiatry, and health workforce and governance leadership programs.

The rests are; a partnership between the Health Ministry and the UK hospitals to decentralize postgraduate medical education in Ghana by expanding the number of accredited medical teaching sites outside of Accra and the deepening of research capacity by the UK on Ghana’s postgraduate medical education training.

The College held its membership and fellowship examinations in March and September this year with a total of 1,099 candidates sitting for the exams.

College of Physicians and Surgeons to undertake fellowship training programmes in regional hospitals

A total of 850 candidates passed the exams with a pass rate of 81% at the membership level and 82% at the fellowship level.

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