Some medical Doctors have made an appeal to government to support the training of Family Physicians in Ghana.
“Government should support the Modular training programme of family Physicians by providing funds and investing in necessary technologies to enhance training”.
The appeal was made when over hundred Medical Doctors comprising Family Physicians, Medical Directors of various hospitals and academics in the medical field drawn from the Northern sector of Ghana met in the Ashanti regional capital for the first ever Lecture series and Brainstorming session to deliberate on issues affecting Family Doctors, their training and well-being on the job. The importance of Family Doctors, benefits of being a Family Doctor, how to make their training liberalized, more attractive and cost effective were also discussed.
Dr. Fred Bedzrah; a Family Physician resident at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital tells rawgist.com the importance of the Family Physician within Ghana’s health set-up is more important now than ever, especially with the introduction of the capitation system in the country’s Health Insurance Scheme. He believes that Family Doctors are the best and most cost effective group of medical professionals to man the system to make it work.
Dr. Bedzrah also explains that Family Physician training involves industrial health, Occupational Health & safety, as well as all other Medical sub-specialties, making Family Doctor the most attractive medical option for Public and Private Institutions and organizations who want medical Doctors for the health needs of their workers. He says employing a family Doctor for a Corporate or Private organization is more cost effective and efficient than employing the services of specialist Doctors for every specialty.
“Currently the training of family Physicians in Ghana is very expensive and centered only in the teaching hospitals in the country. To enter the training program, you need a sponsor to be able to afford it. The central role of Family Physicians in developing a quality cost effective primary and secondary healthcare delivery system makes it imperative for government to support and sponsor fully the training of more family Physicians to man the numerous peripheral facilities in the country”, he explained to rawgist.com’s Bernard Buachi.
For his part, Dr. Joseph Kwasi Hansen, who delivered the first lecture explained the modular concept of training family Physicians and revealed the need for more hospitals to be accredited to cater for such training needs.
Dr. Hansen also stated that a properly trained family Physician should be able to handle more than 80% of cases seen in any busy hospital including surgical cases. He however laments the slow progress being made in the training of family Doctors due to “major challenges being faced”.
With the Modular concept of training, Medical Doctors who have practiced in the various districts for at least five years don’t have to move to teaching hospitals for training but will have the training brought to their facilities or facilities close to them.