From Samuel Duodu, Sunyani
The acting Dean of the Faculty of Public Health and Allied Sciences of the Catholic University College of Ghana, Fiapre, near Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region, Dr Kofi Bobi Barimah, has called for the integration of traditional healing practices into the healthcare delivery system of the country.
According to him, when this is done, these healing practices can play a role in the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
“It is rather unfortunate that although traditional healers service the needs of nearly 70 per cent of the population, they have been left out in the implementation of the NHIS. I am calling on the government to allow known traditional healers with registered and tested drugs to practise in each district and bill the NHIS,” he stated.
Dr Barimah made the call at the first matriculation ceremony of the Sunyani Nursing and Health Assistants Training School in Sunyani.
Sixty students, made up of 20 males and 40 females, were admitted to pursue the Registered General Nursing (RGN) programme and 52 students for the Health Assistants Training programme swore the matriculation oath administered by Mr Felix Nyante, the Deputy Registrar of the Nurses and Midwives Council of Ghana (NMCG).
Dr Barimah also called on nurses to be patriotic and stay in the country to see to the health needs of Ghanaians.
The acting dean also suggested to the Ministry of Health (MoH) to consider training more nurses and export some of them to get money to train more nurses for the local market.
Mr Francis Omono Asamoah, the Principal of the Sunyani NTC and HATS, disclosed that 1,520 candidates applied for admission in the 2007/08 academic year but only 400 qualified, out of which only 60 were offered admission to offer the RGN course at the school as a result of the lack of classroom accommodation, adding that there would be a similar problem next academic.
He said the college needed a large classroom, an auditorium, a demonstration room and teaching/learning materials to stand on its feet.
The Sunyani NTC Principal, therefore, appealed for the amendment of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) Law to enable nursing training colleges to access the fund, saying that after all the entire fund was aimed at improving education in Ghana.
Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, in his address, noted that while the government was doing everything possible to improve healthcare delivery and make it accessible to all Ghanaians, it was disturbing to observe that health workers, both professional and paramedics, had time and again sought to twist the arms of the government to accede to their persistent demands for improved conditions of service.
He urged health workers not to use strike as a means to address their grievances, since at times such actions had led to the death of many patients.
Mr Baffour Awuah also appealed to health workers not to refuse posting to rural communities when they passed out, adding that they should always remember that they had been trained to provide services for humanity and the nation and that no matter where they were located, they should perform the same services.