The Ghana Physician Assistants Association (GPAA) has called for a codified career progression pathway for members to attain the highest level of education in the profession.
The Association said the highest level of academic feat a physician assistant could obtain, currently, was a degree, a situation it described as a disincentive to practitioners.
Mr. Emmanuel Yaw Appiah, the President of the GPAA, made the appeal in his welcoming address at the 18th Annual General Conference of the Association in Cape Coast.
The five-day Conference, which ends on Sunday, October 31, is on the theme: “Career Progression and Protection for the Physician Assistant: Your role, My Role and our role in the attainment of Universal Health Coverage”.
It provides a central platform for all physician assistants to deliberate on the successes, challenges and other activities planned and implemented within the year for future projections.
The conference also serves as a Continuing Protectional Development (CPD) event for members to build their capacity to meet the ever changing health needs of the country.
“It is unfortunate that despite the many years of existence of physician assistants, there has not been any properly established career progression pathway in the profession,” Mr. Appiah said.
“I pray that ongoing deliberations with officialdom will bring about the establishment of a clear career pathway for all physician assistants to achieve their aims,” he added.
Mr. Appiah called on stakeholders to play their respective roles diligently to ensure that special programmes were mounted for the professionals, particularly in internal medicine, dermatology, psychiatry, traumatology, emergency medicine, ophthalmology, family health and paediatrics.
That would help accelerate and actualize the task of shaping policy ideas to ensure quality health care services for all persons, irrespective of their geographical area or financial status.
He said many health centres existed without physician assistants although a huge number of qualified personnel were yet to be posted.
“Delay in getting financial clearance for qualified personnel is arguably the main reason for the large numbers of unemployed physician assistants”.
He urged the Ministry to expedite action to get the financial clearance to employ the members.
Mrs. Akosua Agyeiwaa Owusu-Sarpong, the Central Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service, commended the GPAA for its central role as a strategic partner with direct influence on health service outcomes.
She said the achievement of Ghana’s desired health outcomes and key performance indicators towards the attainment of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) goals depended on members playing their vital roles effectively.
Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, Omanhen of Oguaa Traditional Area, who chaired the event, urged the Service to ensure health care services were brought to the doorstep of all citizens.