Health Minister urges all to have faith in what is in our hospitals

  • Health and Sanitation Minister Dr Abu Bakarr Fofanah proudly
    displays the Certicate of Accreditation of Connaught University
    Teaching Hospital by the West African College of Surgeons.
    The Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr Abu Bakarr Fofanah has said that
    the greatest asset that any country can have is its human resources.
    He went on to say that even if a country does not have gold, bauxite, rutile,
    diamond etc, but if that country has a well-educated and well trained work
    force, that country can still develop. He gave examples of countries around
    the world that do not have the resources that we have but because they can
    boast of an enlightened workforce, they have better per capital income and
    standards of living.
     TEACHING HOSPITALS
    It is along these lines that the Minister said he was speci%cally instructed by
    His Excellency the President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma to prioritize medical
  • education, particularly at the specialist level as soon as he assumed o*ce to
    again begin to build up the critical mass of medical specialists that is fast
    fading away in the country.
    Members of the public would recall that, the House of Parliament early this
    year passed two Bills into Acts. These are the Teaching Hospitals Act (2016)
    and the Council for the Postgraduate Colleges of Health Specialties Act
    (2016). These developments are a direct response to His Excellency’s
    directives. Said the Minister.
    The object of the %rst Act is to establish a formal nexus between the College
    of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS) and by extension the
    University of Sierra Leone (USL) and the Tertiary Hospitals (Connaught, Ola
    During, Jui, Kissy Psychiatric, Lakka, and the Princess Christian Maternity
    Hospitals). This nexus the Minister said is crucial because it opens the way
    for the transformation of these hospitals from service hospitals to teaching
    hospitals.
    Teaching hospitals the Minister said di8ers from ‘normal’ service
    hospitals in that teaching hospitals have a greater commitment to teaching
    and learning, student discipline is more rigorously enforced, the range of
    clinical services o8ered in the teaching hospital are wider and the quality is
    better. The administrative set up of the teaching hospital is also di8erent
    from that of a service hospital which is what Connaught has been. The object
    of the latter Act is to establish a local specialist medical training institution to
    address in a sustainable the issue of the paucity of specialist medical doctors
    in the country which the minister says has reached epidemic crisis.
    After several months of hard work which involves working with donors to
    source funds, infrastructure upgrading, procurement of equipment and
    addressing sta*ng issues, a team of specialists in postgraduate medical
    education from the relevant colleges of the West African Postgraduate
    Medical College, (WAPGMC), the West African College of Physicians 9WACP)
    and the West African College of Surgeone (WACS) respectively have visited
    and assed two of the countries hospitals, the Connaught University Teaching
    Hospital and the Ola During University Teaching Hospital viz-a-viz their state
    of readiness to commence specialist training in surgery and paediatrics
    respectively
    Due to the tremendous amount of e8orts that have been put by the Ministry
    of Health and Sanitation in the areas of infrastructure, equipment and
    human resources to lift the pro%le of these hospitals to be%t their status as
    Teaching Hospitals, the accreditation team has given them the all clear to
  • commence specialist training.
    The elated Health and Sanitation Minister said
    this is what the President’s Agenda for Prosperity is all about. It is about
    creating the ideal atmosphere for Sierra Leoneans to achieve their full
    potentials even in country. This is a historic landmark in medical education in
    the country. We shall never walk backwards from this point. We can only get
    better and better. He therefore urged all and sundry particularly the young
    doctors to grab this opportunity with both hands. Let us have faith in what is
    ours and support it to become better and better. He warned that
    apprehension, doubt, and hesitation can only perpetuate the vicious cycle of
    retrogression and underdevelopment. He said who had thought 26 years ago
    that our medical school would stand the test of time? Today it has become
    our saving grace in terms of providing this nation with the much needed
    human resources for health. In the same vein this two initiatives holds the
    future of the health care system in this country.
    The Minister of Health and Sanitation catalogued the major disadvantages of
    having to rely on the good will of foreign countries to build our medical
    workforce and predicted a pending atmosphere of doom for our health
    system if the e8orts of His Excellency Dr Ernest Bai Koroma in building a
    strong and resilient health system are not complemented. He congratulated
    the four would residents doctors on their success in their primary
    examinations of the West African College of Surgeons and entry into the
    program. He referred to them as the pioneers of postgraduate medical
    education. He urged them to be focused and don’t get dis

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