By William Sarpong
The Ghana Physician Assistants Association has appealed to the Minister of Health to initiate a bill to create separate regulatory council to regulate the practice of physician assistants.
According to the Association, its members are disrespected and discriminated against by the current Council it belongs to.
The Association disclosed this at a media briefing in Accra addressed by the President, Mr. Emmanuel Yaw Appiah, who expressed surprise the Medical and Dental Council, sponsored by the Ministry of Health, has deliberately taken away the autonomy of practice of the physicians by clandestinely pushing for amendments to the Health Professions Regulatory Bodies Act 2013 (Act 857).
“The Association reminded the Medical and Dental Council and other stakeholders that health service delivery is collaborative and a team work.”
Mr. Yaw Appiah lamented that since the Physician Assistants were put under the regulation of the Medical and Dental Council, Ghana by the Health Professions Regulatory Bodies Act 857 (2019), they have not known peace.
The Association indicated it is unjust and discriminatory to equate a registered physician assistant (irrespective of grade and experience) to a house officer (a student under training) and exempt all them from rights conferred by registration.
“If this Bill is passed into law, does a physician assistant consult and seek approval from the so-called supervising medical and dental practitioner in absentia before he or she can attend to a client in the rural areas?” he queried
Supervision, he said, is not done in absentia and therefore demanded the insertion to be expunged from the Bill.
“The attainment of Universal Health Coverage through Primary Health Care will be a mirage if physician assistants are not granted autonomy of practice at the primary healthcare level,” he stated.
The Physician Assistants Association appealed to the Minister of Health and the Medical and Dental Council to withdraw the Bill as a matter of urgency to enable further engagement in relation to the amendment of the provisions of Act 857 (2013).