President John Dramani Mahama on Thursday appealed to members of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) to move away from their entrenched positions and return to work to save lives.
He said a special committee had been put in place to ensure fair and equitable salaries and wages for doctors and other government workers and it was therefore expedient for the doctors to return to work to stem the current challenges patients were facing throughout the country.
President Mahama stated this when he attended the congregation of 47 Medical Students of the University for Development Studies (UDS) and the African Leadership Lecture (2013) on the theme: ’Leadership in Africa from Pre-colonial to Contemporary Times’ in Tamale.
This is the second batch of doctors from the Tamale Medical School as most of the students were sent to the University of Ghana Medical School, before the Tamale Teaching Hospital was completed a couple of years ago.
The African Leadership Lecture series was conceived by the UDS in 2011 and introduced this year to offer African leaders the opportunity and the resources to transform the continent by pursuing prudent scientific and development policies to nurture indigenous talents.
The lectures aimed at equipping the African leaders with the necessary resources to harness the potentials of various countries through the use of experts and their expertise to transform their various nations and to stimulate discussions and action on African leadership and governance by sharing ideas on research and other relevant information that could help their onward movement from developing to developed countries.
President Mahama appealed to the graduands to religiously adhere to oaths they had sworn to save lives irrespective of the geographical location they were posted to.
He commended the Vice Chancellor and the Council of the University for instituting the annual lectures, which he admitted would be instrumental and contributory to the development of the African countries through good leadership and governance.
The President urged the graduands to also work in consonance with their school slogan: “Knowledge for Service by accepting to take up responsibilities in the rural areas of the country as they had endured through their practical training over the years.
President Mahama gave the assurance that his administration would continue to support the University to train doctors and other paramedics that would help in the socio-economic advancement of the country in the coming years.
He commended former President Jerry John Rawlings and other stakeholders for establishing the University 20 years ago and pledged to offer similar assistance that would achieve the development goals of the institution.
Professor Haruna Yakubu, Vice Chancellor of UDS, commended government for the number of development projects, including the Tamale Teaching Hospital, which had weaned the medical students from the University of Ghana.
He said the University’s medical school turned out a total of 133 students between 2000 and 2008, who had been incorporated into various health facilities throughout the country.
Daniel Atubiga was adjudged the overall best student of the batch, while other students who distinguished themselves were also awarded.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, who presented a series of lectures, was awarded a Doctor of Letters degree.