May 3, 2011

The Member of Parliament for Manhyia, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, says any attempt to discourage Medical Practitioners from doing politics as a vocation will be an exercise that will militate against the improvement of health among the citizenry.

Some social commentators have suggested that with the low number of medical doctors currently in Ghana, there is the need for the doctors who have political ambitions to jettison their desire and rather concentrate on their core duties of providing health care to the people.

Speaking on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem show on Tuesday 3rd May 2011, the Member of Parliament for Manhyia, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, a trained medical doctor who has been re-elected to contested for a second term in parliament disagreed with that assertion saying the doctors like any other professionals are needed in parliament.

He says it is important for parliament to have a mix of professionals to enable the House formulate policies that will meet and address the needs of the people.

He notes that even though the fact remains that there is inadequate number of doctors in Ghana, the presence of trained doctors working as parliamentarians have helped in the passage of several legislative bills in the health sector which has improved has greatly improved the health of Ghanaians.

“Several effective health bills passed in parliament have been done with the active participation and support of trained medical doctors who are also MPs, because of the knowledgeable they have in the health sector’’ he said.

In Ghana, Ministry of Health estimates put the number of doctors in 2007 at 2, 026 and yet if the West African state were to achieve prevailing doctor: patient ratios of 1: 1000 in some middle income countries by 2025 by which time its population is expected to hit 32 million, it would require not less than 32, 000 doctors.

Story by : Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps