As part of efforts to control recurrent debts related to foreign scholarships awards and as well ensure consistency with national manpower, the Ghana Scholarships Secretariat says it is prioritizing and rationalising its scholarships awards.
This was disclosed by the Registrar, Mr Kingsley Agyemang, at stakeholders’ engagement on local medical training held in Accra yesterday.
The meeting was to seek ideas from the stakeholders, made up of representatives from the University of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University of Cape Coast, University of Allied Health and Sciences, Ghana Medical and Dental Council, among others.
Mr Agyemang disclosed that an advisory report on scholarships awards had indicated that the local training of medical students is very key in managing the huge debts that come with training such individuals abroad.
The Secretariat is therefore of the belief that a shift from foreign to local training will not only offer some savings to the country, but, more importantly, strengthen the capacity of Ghana’s local institutions for enhanced medical training in the sub-region.
Mr Agyemang said with this approach, the Secretariat will take the funding part of the training of these medical students, stressing: “it will become a very good source of income for the medical facilities to develop on their own.”
“I believe this is very much in symbiotic with the policies that the Ministry of Health intends to do with expanding medical facilities in the country.
“So, we will be taking care of the soft side of the whole value chain whilst the Ministry of Health or individual training facilities will also do their bid,” he said.
He revealed that training Ghanaians outside the country, on the average, costs not less than $15,000 per annum.
According to the Registrar, in 2011 an agreement signed between the Governments of Ghana and Cuba for the training of students in general medicine cost the country $96,000 per student for six years. The package was only made up of tuition and accommodation.
He said, in all, 250 students benefitted from this agreement which was a huge burden on government coffers.
“As we can see, there is a lot in terms of enrolment, and if we are able to retain this amount here, it will be good for us all. We need to stop this capital flight,” Mr Agyemang said.
He said he was also optimistic that at the end of the stakeholders’ meeting, a consensus would be found where there will be collaboration between the Ghana Scholarships Secretariat and the various medical training facilities.
“We will help in enrolment by way of funding and not in truncating your admission process,” he assured the stakeholders.
Present at the meeting was the acting Registrar of the Medical and Dental Council, Divine Banyubala; Rector of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, Richard Adanu; Vice-President of the Accra College of Medicine, Prof. Adukwei Hesse; Dean of Students of the University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dr Kwabena Duodu, among others.