Ghanaian medical students owe their training to the sweats and toils of tax payers, President John Evans Atta Mills said on Saturday in Accra.
“It is now time to pay back the sacrifices they (tax payers) have made to get you educated and trained,” he told over 500 medical students who graduated at the University of Ghana, Legon.
President Mills further noted that they could only reciprocate by offering the needed health care wherever they were located in the country.
The ninth congregation of the University Of Ghana College of Allied Sciences saw 94 medical doctors and 16 dental surgeons who took their Hippocratic Oath to guide their moral judgment in their practice as doctors.
President Mills, whose speech was read on his behalf by the Education Minister, Mr Alex Tettey-Enyo, said it was very disappointing for health practitioners to refuse posting to where their services were needed most in the country.
“This is rather unpatriotic attitude that must be condemned since it affects the smooth operation of the health delivery of the ordinary man,” he noted.
The President said it was the intention of government to develop the human resource base of the country and identified education and health as key in that regards.
He said the country faces many challenges such as filth and insanitary conditions, environmental degradation, unhealthy physical and eating habits and alarming road and transport accidents, which had led to high levels of avoidable disease conditions and deaths.
However, he said, “Sadly our nation faces a shortage of essential health professionals to help deal with these problems throughout the country”.
President Mills promised to assist the College of Health Sciences to train more health professionals to bridge the existing gap.
Government, he said, was aware of the efforts being made to expand facilities of the College with support from the Ghana Educational Trust Fund (GETFund).
He said, however, due to the difficulties in the disbursement of the GETFund, government was currently reviewing Fund.
Prof Andrew Lawson, Provost of the College of Allied Sciences, congratulated the graduands for their achievements and wished them success in their practices.
“Remember that the nation needs your services especially in the rural area where you will also learn more about the health challenges in the country,” he said.
Dr Juliana Unicorn, a Dentist, was adjudged the overall best student.