Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Minister of Health, will reactivate the processes to establish the College of Allied Health at the earliest possible time.
He said the Ministry was also aware of the strong agitation from the Allied Health for a Professional College to offer the opportunity for specializations in various aspects of health care.
He noted that the issue of six-year professional doctorate allied health programmes currently pending was receiving attention and that very soon, the Ministry of Health would engage the Council and other stakeholders to address it.
Mr Agyeman-Manu said this in a speech read on his behalf at the 10th Induction and Swearing-In Ceremony of newly qualified Allied Health Graduates in Accra.
The event, on the theme: “The Management of COVID-19: The Role of the Allied Health Professional”, saw over 200 Allied Health Professionals been inducted from fields such as Doctor of Medical Laboratory Science; Doctor of Optometrist, Master of Philosophy (MPhil) Medical Physicists, Master of Science (MSc) Dietetics and MSc Audiology.
Mr Agyeman-Manu appealed to Allied Health Professionals to accept postings to serve in rural communities and other deprived areas.
This, he said, would enable the very people whose sweat had made the Allied Health Professionals’ education and training possible to also benefit from their services.
He appealed to all health workers to engage the Government in dialogue over their grievances rather than resorting to strikes.
“Government is always prepared to dialogue and also expect the same from all sectors of our working population,”
The Minister, who reminded the Allied Health Professionals of the Oath of the Allied Health Professions Council, also urged them to be committed and determined to work truthfully and in humility at all times to the best of their ability to serve their clients and society.
“Rember to treat your patients and clients with love, care and sympathy.”
He said there was no doubt that Allied Health Professionals continue to play very important roles in the health care delivery in the country and that whether Ghana could succeed in achieving total control of the COVID-19 pandemic would depend on the collective efforts of all health professionals particularly the Allied Health Professions.
He said Allied Health Professionals constituted a key part of a multi-disciplinary team in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic; saying “they use their expertise in testing regime, contact tracing, promoting recovery, clinical services, promotion/prevention and quality of life care”.
He said the Government, being very conscious of the important role played by the Allied Health Professionals, was committed to developing these professions to be able to provide the highest standards of health care to the good people of Ghana.
Mr Agyeman-Manu said the Ministry of Health had secured over five thousand financial clearances from the Ministry of Finance since 2020 to employ the backlog of Allied Health Professionals whose qualifications and certificates were validated by the Allied Health Professions Council and were found to be in good standing for employment.
Dr Samuel Yaw Opoku, Registrar, Allied Health Professions Council, in his report requested for the commitment and support from the Ministry of Health to the Council in its bid to phase out the current four-year bachelors of Allied Health Programmes and replace them with the six-year professional doctorates.
To the inductees, he said the Provisional Certificates presented to them were valid for one year to qualify them to undertake the mandatory 12-month internship/national service programme.
He noted that upon the successful completion of the internship programme, they shall be required to take and pass the Council’s Professional and Licensure Examination as a pre-requisite for Permanent Registration and Licensing.
Dr Francis Chisaka Kasolo, the World Health Organization, Representative to Ghana, said Allied Healthcare Professionals had provided and continue to provide a key role in health service promotion, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation and had been very pivotal in the COVID-19 response across the pillars.
Professor Augustine Kwame Kyere, Chairman, Allied Health Professions Council, who chaired the function, urged the inductees to uphold the ethics of their profession.