The government of Ghana has disclosed it disbursed a whooping US$37million to train Ghanaian doctors in Cuba.
The amount was used to cater for tuition, feeding, accommodation and monthly stipends for their seven-year stay in Cuba.
Making the disclosure, the Deputy Health Minister, Mr. Alexander Abban stated, “On the average, 150, 000 dollars was expended on each one of them. If you do the Mathematics as against 250 students who were transported to that country, it comes to 37, 500,000 dollars.”
He said this at the handing over ceremony of the 250 doctors, who were drawn from every district, and sent to Cuba under the Mills administration for training as part of a special level of cooperation between the two countries.
Mr. Abban reiterated government’s commitment to investing in the human resource of the country.
Scholarship Secretariat Chides NDC Government Over High Cost of Training of Doctors
At the same ceremony, the Scholarship Secretariat chided the past government, saying, the negotiation of the cost of funding for the doctors was exorbitant.
In the view of the Registrar of the Scholarship Secretariat, Kingsley Agyemang, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government could have done better with funding negotiations for the 250 Ghanaian students who were trained in Cuba under government scholarships.
Mr. Agyemang noted that, the cost of tuition and accommodation as negotiated by the NDC government some six years ago was $96,090 per student, but was subjected to review.
He stated that, “In 2019, led by President Akufo-Addo, it reduced to $55,000 [the cost] per student. What it means is that what we are seeing could have been able to double the number.”
The arrival of the doctors marked the latest leg in Ghana’s cooperation with Cuba in the area of health.
Despite their training in Cuba, the doctors would have to write a Ghana Medical and Dental Council exams in order to be fully integrated into the Ghana Health Service.
Meanwhile, Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia recently facilitated a training opportunity for 40 brilliant and needy medical students from Zongos, inner cities and other deprived communities in the country.
According to the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, Cuba accepted to undertake the program following a proposal from the Vice President to the Government of Cuba to extend the special arrangement between the two countries for the training of health personnel in deprived communities.