Allied Health Professions Council to replace bachelor’s degrees with six-year doctorate programmes

Allied health

By Akosua Frema Frempong

The Deputy Registrar of the Allied Health Professions Council, Mr. Daniel Atta Donkor, has called for an urgent need to establish an Allied Health College to provide individuals with the opportunity to develop themselves professionally and specialise in various disciplines to enable them to offer the needed care to the population.
Mr. Donkor made the call at the 9th Induction and Oath Swearing Ceremony for Newly Qualified Allied Health Graduates in Kumasi.
It was held under the theme: “Improving Access and Quality Healthcare: The Role of the Allied Health Professional”.
The Allied Health Professions Council of Ghana is a statuary body established by an Act of Parliament to regulate the training and practice of Allied Health professions in the country.
The Council  has the mandate  of ensuring the highest standards in the practice of allied health professionals ranging from Medical Laboratory, Dental, Nutrition, Physiotherapy, Health Information and Promotion, Disease Control, Environmental Health, Prosthetics to Orthotic Health Services.
The Induction  saw more than one thousand  graduates from the 2022 Allied Health Schools of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology formally admitted into the Allied Health Professions Council of Ghana.
They have Bachelor of Science degrees and took the Allied Health Professions Council Oath.
The Deputy Registrar of Allied Health Professions, Mr. Daniel Atta Nyarko  urged the government to establish a College  for Allied Health practitioners to provide continuous training for the practitioners to develop themselves professionally.
“Nana Chairman, I am confident that the Ministry of Health will give serious consideration to some critical issues facing the allied health professions. Firstly, there is an urgent need to establish an Allied Health College to provide the opportunity to individuals to develop themselves professionally and specialize in various disciplines to enable them to offer the needed care to the population.
Secondly, there is an urgent need for the Ministry of Health to support the council in its quest to phase out some 4 year bachelor’s programmes to be replaced with 6-year professional doctorates.”
Mr. Atta Nyarko disclosed that the Ghana Government, through the Ministry of Health, has approved these programmes developed by the West African Health Organization (WAHO). However, the introduction of two of the programmes, namely the Doctor of Optometry and Doctor of Medical Laboratory Sciences, has been confronted with several challenges.
He therefore hoped that the Ministry would give similar recognition and support to similar programmes.
“Nana Chairman another disturbing issue facing the allied health industry is the canker of quacks who have invaded the health delivery system. The harm being committed by these people cannot be underestimated. The council with the total support of the Governing Board and Health Intelligence Unit of the Ministry of Health have been trying to weed out the charlatans from the society.
Unfortunately, the expected support from law enforcement agencies has not helped much to deal with the issue. Several cases reported to the police across the country appear dead with the lack of prosecution.”

He appealed for the necessary support to enable them  to fight by swiftly dealing with the offenders to protect the unsuspecting members of society from these criminals.

He reminded the newly qualified health professionals, the provisional certificates that would be presented to them would be valid for a year to qualify them to undertake the mandatory 12-month internship program, which starts on December 5, 2022, and ends on November 30, 2023.
“On successful completion of the internship  programme, they would be required to take and pass the Council’s Professional Licensure Registration and Licensing. The period of internship offers you the opportunity to acquire additional skills and knowledge as well as to develop best professional standards, which would constitute the basis of the examinations.”
A representative of the Regional Coordinating Council, Madam Dorcas Baidoo, implored the interns to employ dialogue to drum home their grievances rather than going  on strike .
The Chief of Nkwanta-Kese, Nana Boakye Yam Ababio, emphasized the need for allied health professionals to be adequately with the relevant tools to enable them perform not only professionally, but also optimally.

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