Registrar of the Allied Health Professions Council, Dr Samuel Yaw Opoku has urged government to offer Allied Health Professionals employment after completing their programs so they contribute to health services in the country. He lamented that a visit to most health facilities indicate a shortage of these professionals while many of them spend up to three years or more unemployed.
He made this remark at the council's seventh induction and oath swearing ceremony of about 1,130 Allied Professionals from various fields such as Radiography, Sonography Optometry, Medical Laboratory Science, Physiotherapy among others, in Accra.
The Allied Health Profession, Mr Opoku noted is key to achieving United Health Coverage (UHC), which seeks to provide all individuals and communities health services without suffering financial hardships.
The UHC includes quality health services from health promotion, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care by 2030 and forms a part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He urged government to give more recognition to the profession to enable them make a difference by making available adequate resources.
Minister for Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu in a speech read on his behalf said that Ghana still has a few years to achieve Universal Health Coverage under the Sustainable Development Goals. He noted that the ministry aims to make UHC a reality for all Ghanaians. This, however, he emphasized can only be possible through the collective effort of all health professionals.
He said that the Ministry of Health is committed to developing the Allied Health Profession to achieve this.
Mr Agyeman-Manu expressed worry at the number of quack professionals in the country offering unreliable services which he said is extremely dangerous to the health delivery sysem and society. He called on the Council to collaborate with Health Facilities Regulatory Agency ( HeFRA) and the security agencies to monitor health facilities and eliminate all quacks from the system. He also urged the Ministry of Health and private facilities to employ only licensed Allied Health Professionals.
The Chairman of the AHPC Governing Board, Professor Augustine Kwame Kyere urged the inductees to be proactive in a fast changing world and to eschew any bad habits that will affect their profession in the future.
He noted that the work of Medical Laboratry Scientists is very crucial because laboratory tests help in diagnosis and prescription of medical drugs. He also urged the need for proper documentation and quality control in health facilities
Professor Kyere noted the Councils's readiness to ensure that all laboratory practices in the country are reliable.
Guest Speaker for the ceremony, Professor Solomon Ofori Acquah, Dean at the School of Biomedical and Allied Health Sciences, University of Ghana, asked the inductees to be innovative in their work and venture into entrepreneurship. He also asked them have a professional identity in order to obtain professional value. He said that collaborating with other health professionals will help them achieve the common good.
The ceremony was held on the theme "Achieving Universal Health Coverage in Ghana; The Role of the Allied Health Professional".
The inductees are expected to sit their licensing exam after completing a one year mandatory internship from October 1st, 2019, to September 30th , 2020.