NEWS COMMENTARY ON THE REFUSAL OF TRAINED MEDICAL DOCTORS TO ACCEPT POSTINGS TO THE FIVE REGIONS IN THE NORTH
The sixteenth American President, Abraham Lincoln, stated, “I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.” Therefore, it came as a shock when news broke that some trained Medical Doctors have refused postings to the five regions in the north. Irrespective of the reasons orchestrating the refusal, it is not only unpatriotic but also discriminatory. One will wonder why a professional who has undergone ethical training will refuse a call to serve the nation at where the expertise is needed. The action of these trained Medical Doctors is defying the state of patriotism in Ghana. Additionally, what needs to be looked at critically is our educational system as a country. We learn about others instead of ourselves. Hence, we tend not to appreciate diversity. Education is meant to reset the mind and purge it of negative pre-suppositions that are harmful to social development. Hence, if trained Medical Doctors could outrightly reject to serve a section of the society whose taxes are used to educate them, then, we should collectively take a second look at our educational system. The systems put in place will determine the results we will get as a nation.
What system of education have we put in place in producing professionals, who are refusing to heed to the call of the nation to serve a segment of society? Nevertheless, it is also important for us as a country to question our development pattern. The five regions in the north; Northern, Savanna, North-East, Upper East, and Upper West are deprived of basic infrastructure. Hence, it is even a challenge to willing citizens who wish to respond to the national call to serve there. As a nation, we have left this part of the country under-developed as compared to the south, where the majority of these trained Doctors want to work. It is discouraging and disturbing to start work as a young professional in an environment where there are extreme challenges, while you leave behind comfort and family.
It is heart-wrenching to know, according to the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, that, some parents and guardians, politicians and influential people who should know better are the people approaching his office with loads of excuses to alter postings. This is the lowest ebb patriotism can get. If this trajectory is allowed to persist, it will undermine Ghana’s efforts to achieve universal health coverage by 2030. Again, if we allow politicians to meddle in the posting of Doctors then the country is doomed. Because, where ever politics goes, it generates entrenched positions and divide without compromise. Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare and authorities whose responsibility it is to post these Medical Doctors’ should resist the pleadings and influences of personalities who erroneously believe they have an obligation and a moral high ground to determine where a medical professional should work. The founder of modern Nursing Florence Nightingale, intimated that, “I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse” As a country if we wish to succeed in all facet of development, especially, medical tourism, we need to eschew excuses and rather focus on how to attain national developmental targets. The onus to develop Ghana rest with us, and we should be prepared to serve mother Ghana irrespective of where our services are needed. The taxes that are used to train these Doctors require them to serve the fellow Ghanaians everywhere without discrimination. It is embarrassing to see Cuban Medical Doctors serving in remote areas of the country, while citizens are refusing postings to these same places. What a shame. This does not sit well with our national dignity. Perhaps aspects of the Hippocratic oath, otherwise known as the Physician’s Oath will drum home the plea of society. As citizens, we should be prepared at all times to respond to the call of our country to serve in any capacity and location our service is needed without excuses. God bless our homeland Ghana.
BY: PATRICK TWUMASI – HEAD, PUBLIC RELATIONS NON-FORMAL EDUCATION DIVISION, MINISTRY OF EDUCATION.