Physician Assistants unhappy with treatment, demand regulatory body

Raymond Adonganga

Mr Raymond Adonganga, the Upper East Regional Chairman of the Ghana Physician Assistants Association (GPAA) has called on the government through the Ministry of Health and its agencies to as a matter of urgency establish a regulatory body for the training and practice of physician assistantship.

Mr Adonganga said the Medical and Dental Council (MDC) has continuously treated the Association unfairly and always acted in bad faith.

“The Medical and Dental Council has always acted in bad faith and has done so retrogressively with suppression and oppression towards physician assistants,” he said.

“As a parent, (MDC), you cannot choose to call some of your children humans and fail to say what the others are; at least, you fathered them all,” he stated.

It would be recalled the leadership of the Ghana Physician Assistants Association (GPAA) at a press conference in Accra directed all its members to suspend the renewal of licenses with the Medical and Dental Council for the ensuing year 2023.

The leadership advised all physician assistants not to renew their practicing licenses for the year 2023 until the Ministry of Health comes out with modalities and a roadmap for them to get their own regulatory body through the amendment of the Health Regulations Bodies Act of 2013, Act 857 with the involvement of all the key stakeholders.

Physician Assistants (PAs) are middle-level cadres in the health service delivery machinery with a level of training apt and appropriate for the basic and essential healthcare needs of the people of Ghana.

 Mr Adoganga, who spoke to the GNA in an interview, noted that the service of Physician Assistants was huge and indispensable and did not deserve the treatment from the MDC.

“The Physician Assistant is so indispensable that their work gives a good blend of clinical, preventive, promotional, and administrative services in rural, urban and peri-urban communities especially, where human resources are scarce, thus making the Physician Assistant an epitome of versatility and efficiency in human resource crises,” he said.

For instance, Mr Adoganga said, the Bolgatanga Municipality had no Municipal Hospital nor Polyclinic and that the Health Care Service at the Municipal level was led by the physician assistants.

“If the MDC insist that Physician Assistants and other groups within the health service delivery machinery do not practice Medicine, how do the people of Bolgatanga get their Health issues addressed medically?” he queried.

He added that the Physician Assistant is the only Health Care provider trained primarily to be preventive, curative, and administrative and added that all other professionals take additional training to gain competence in Public Health and Managerial roles.

“The current Registrar of MDC on several platforms said that Physician Assistants do not practice medicine even after a competent court of the land has ruled that Physician Assistants practice medicine and can validly transfer patient medical records of clients they attend to onto a medical form.

“On one occasion of their Annual General Conference in Cape Coast in 2021, the Registrar attacked the competence, independence, and credibility of Physician Assistants,” he said.

Source: GNA

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