Wed May 22, 2013
Kumasi Polytechnic, Yangtze University to run Medicine programme
The Kumasi Polytechnic is collaborating with the Yangtze University of China to start a six-year medicine programme with effect from January 2012. According to the Rector of K-Poly, Professor Nicholas Nsowah Nuamah, the aim of the programme is to train more medical students to augment the numbers of doctors and medical practitioners in Ghana, with the view to improving the abysmal doctor - patient ratio.
Prospective students, when enrolled, will undergo two out of the six years training at the Kumasi Polytechnic while the remaining four years of the course will be undertaken at the Yangtze University of China, which has a state of the art medical faculty. The two institutions are also collaborating to run Bachelors programme in Nursing at the polytechnics new faculty of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences.
Professor Nsowah-Nuamah announced this at an induction ceremony of the polytechnic’s new Vice Rector, Dr. George Owusu-Dapaah. The occasion also marked the official handing-over ceremony for new deans, heads of department and officers of the Kumasi Polytechnic. Elaborating further on the launch of the medical programme at the Kumasi Polytechnic, Professor Nsowah-Nuamah said, with about 8,000 deficit of doctors and medical practitioners, the country will continue to mark time if academic institutions such as the Kumasi Polytechnic, which has the necessary capacity, are not given the necessary mandate to train medical students.
According to the Rector, with the current doctor - patient ratio of one doctor to thirteen thousand patients (1: 13,000), Ghana may not meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) targets 4, 5, 6 and 8 by 2015, if innovative ways are not found to substantially increase enrolment numbers of medical students.“Curre ntly many brilliant students who want to pursue medicine are rejected by the medical schools, ostensibly due to lack of space. It is these high calibre students we want to attract because Ghana cannot afford to waste their enormous potentials,” he said. “Given the opportunity, they can transform the National Health Service to the high standards we all expect it to be,” he added.
Professor Nsowah-Nuamah said, the National Accreditation Board’s stringent requirements hinder institutions like the polytechnics, which have the requisite capacity to run a number of academic programmes independently. “K-Poly has no choice but to collaborate with foreign institutions like the Yangtze University to train high level personnel to meet the manpower needs of the country,” Professor Nsowah-Nuamah said.
Explaining further, the Rector said, the ideal doctor - patient ratio prescribed by the UN and which will ensure that the country is capable of providing basic, quality and affordable healthcare to its citizenry is one doctor to five thousand patients (1:5,000).
According to the Rector, the Kumasi Polytechnic will launch the medical course to train more doctors to enable the country attain that elusive benchmark of 1:5,000 by enrolling several hundreds of brilliant students who otherwise would be denied admission by the medical schools. “What will make our Medicine programme unique is the four years the students will spend in China, which will expose them to a different socio-cultural environment and medical practices and which in the long run will have positive effects on their output when they graduate,” he said.
Professor Nsowah Nuamah said the Yangtze University, where the students will spend the last four years of the course, will award the Doctor of Medicine degree but stressed that the institution was still awaiting clearance from the National Accreditation Board before it can launch the course.
Rector of K-Poly, Prof. Nsowah-Nuamah (middle) flanked by immediate past Vice Rector, Mr. Eric Brobbey (right) and Dr. George Owusu-Dapaah, current Vice Rector (left).