The Nigerian doctors are being denied a license to practice in Ghana despite meeting all requirements
When Funke (not her real name ) enrolled in the School of Medicine at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, little did she know that she wasn’t going to be allowed to practice medicine in Ghana.
She had seen a number of her Nigerian counterparts practice medicine in Ghana and together with thirty other medical students from Nigeria she thought it was not going to be so difficult to practice medicine in the country they trained as medical doctors.
But it has been almost a year since she finished her house-job – a mandatory two year service after medical school- and she is considering going back home after several efforts to get a license to practice medicine in Ghana have been unsuccessful.
She said the doctors were meant to get their temporary licenses, but The Medical and Dental Council have now said it was no longer giving them, only permanent ones.
“We just feel that if we have applied for it last year by now we should get it. All our Ghanaian colleagues have gotten theirs,” Funke says almost at the point of tears, “why are being treated like this? Everything they told us to do we have done”.
She has now taken up a job with a news website which doesn’t pay enough for her upkeep. She says the stance of the Medical and Dental Council is frustrating and “some of us have no other option than to leave “.
This is after they have sworn a statutory declaration a requirement from the Council to prove that they intend to practice in Ghana and nowhere else.
An intervention by the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana and the Ghana Medical Association has all not yielded any results.
There have been many calls for more doctors needed in Ghana. Last month the Executive Director of the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG), Peter Kwame Yeboah advocated more doctors to bridge the doctor to patient gap especially in the Northern part of the country.
Statistics from the Ghana Health Service revealed in 2013 the doctor to patient ration was 1 doctor to 10,000 patients. Doctors have also on several occasions lamented how overwhelming their job is as they have to be on call due to their small numbers.
Multiple efforts to reach the Dental and Medical Council for a comment have not been successful so far.