The Ministry of Health has over the last two years secured over 6,000 financial clearances to employ the backlog of Allied Health Professionals who have been validated by the Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC).
The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, in a speech read on his behalf by the Chief Director of the Ministry, Mr Kwabena Boadu Oku-Afari, said this at the induction ceremony for newly qualified allied health graduates in Accra on Wednesday.
“The Ministry of Health has secured over 6,000 clearance from the Ministry of Finance over the last two years to employ a backlog of Allied Health professionals whose qualifications and certificates have been validated by the Allied Health Council and are found to be in good standing of employment,” he said.
Indicating that the number had been the highest in a long while, Mr Agyeman-Manu underscored that the work of Allied Health Professionals was crucial to the health care delivery system in the country.
He added that Allied Health Professionals constituted a key part in the multi-disciplinary team dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Agyeman-Manu, therefore, professed that winning the fight against COVID-19 was also hinged on the collective efforts of all health workers across the country.
He charged the inductees to make the most of the knowledge they have garnered and accept their places of posts to serve the country in order to impact all and sundry.
Dr Samuel Yaw Opoku, Registrar, AHPC, for his part said the induction and oath swearing ceremony presented a solemn but joyous occasion for graduating Allied Health Interns to be inducted into the health profession and serve the nation as required by section 10 of the Professions Bodies Act, (Act 857, Part One).
He reiterated that the council’s challenge of unemployment had been drastically curbed by the government.
“One major problem which the allied health graduates faced was the long period they had to wait to be employed after the internship programme. However, it is gratifying to note that the NPP government through the Minister of Health has almost succeeded in clearing the backlog,” he emphasised.
Meanwhile, Dr Opoku asked the government to consider the establishment of an allied health institute for the training of health professionals and replace the four-year degree programme with a six-year professional doctorates programme.
“Consider two critical issues facing the allied health professions. First, establish an Allied Health College to provide the opportunity for individuals to develop themselves,” he stated.
“Secondly, phase out the current 4-year bachelors of allied health programmes to be replaced with the 6-year professional doctorates,” he added.
Dr Opoku commended and charged the graduates to take advantage of the national service period to aid them to take and pass the Council’s Professional and Licensure Examination, as a pre-requisite for permanent registration and licensing.
Speaking on the theme: “Effective Management of COVID-19; the role of the Allied Health Professional,” Dr Francis Chisaka Kasalo, the World Health Organisation representative to Ghana, noted that the ceremony and its attendant theme was relevant and timely as it spoke volumes of the vital role played by health workers in this pandemic era.
Dr Kasalo used the opportunity to urge the inductees to be guided by the core values of the AHPC and complement the country’s workforce in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR & JESSEL LARTEY THERSON-COFIE