Seven leaders of unemployed Physician Assistants have been arrested for picketing at the Ministry of Health in Ghana.
The Physician Assistants had been protesting the fact that they have not been posted years after their professional qualifications, and were demanding answers from the Ministry as to why the recruitment portal has not been opened for them in recent years.
Physician Assistants play a crucial role in providing healthcare access to underserved and hard-to-reach communities in Ghana. They are healthcare professionals who work in most Municipal/District Hospitals, Polyclinics, and Health Centers, performing both clinical and public health duties.
With a huge deficit in health professionals in Ghana, compounded by the exodus of professionals to Europe and America, it is concerning that the qualified professionals who are willing to work in Ghana are reportedly being hindered by officialdom and public sector bureaucracy.
The Ghana Physician Assistants’ Association (GPAA), a Health Professional Union, has voiced their support for the protest and is calling for the Ministry of Health to open the recruitment portal and appoint these qualified professionals to perform the healthcare services they are passionate about.
The GPAA also expressed surprise at the news of the arrest of the seven leaders of the unemployed Physician Assistants. While acknowledging that the Ghana Police Service were performing their normal duties, the GPAA is calling for the immediate release of the arrested leaders. The unemployed Physician Assistants were simply exercising their legitimate rights to demonstrate after duly notifying the Police.