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Medical Assistants: Ghana's Solution to Physician Assistants August 22, 2010
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ReachMD XM Radio - Partners in Practice About the Author
ReachMD XM Radio - Partners in Practice

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Medical Assistants: Ghana's Solution to Physician Assistants
 Partners in Practice

The Rural Health Training School in Kintampo, Ghana, was established in 1969 by the Ministry of Health. Now this one-of-a-kind school has trained more than 500 medical assistants who are the backbone of healthcare in Ghana. Medical assistants, comparable to physician assistants in the US, provide care to people living in remote and under-served communities. Dr. Emanuel Teye Adjase, director of the school, joins host Lisa Dandrea Lenell to talk about the education model, his partnerships with other universities and how the program has thrived and changed to meet the needs in the country over the past four decades.



Lisa Dandrea LenellLisa Dandrea Lenell is a physician assistant and the director of operations for an internal medicine practice in Illinois. She is passionate about bringing physician assistant and nurse practitioner issues into the spotlight, focusing on awareness and understanding of the professions.Mrs. Lenell is a graduate of the Physician Assistant Program at Midwestern University in Downers Grove, Illinois. She has continued her relationship with Midwestern University, working as adjunct faculty.She has published in the prestigious peer-reviewed medical journal Dermatologic Surgery and has been featured in several professional journals.

Dr. Emmanuel Teye Adjase is a medical doctor by training and a public health physician specialist with rich experience in health systems management and human resource development.He was appointed director of the Kintampo Rural Health Training School (KRHTS) in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana in September 2000. KRHTS is a National Public Tertiary Institution under the Ghana Ministry of Health, with a mandate to train mid-level health professionals for service delivery— mainly in rural and underserved populations in the country. The medical assistant program, an analog of the physician assistant in the US, is one of the courses taught at this institution. KRHTS is associated with the University of Utah Physician Assistant Program at the University of Utah, Hampshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Winchester, in the UK, with the collective aim to address global health issues and provide international avenues for trainees' clinical experience as well as trainers' professional exposure.Prior to Dr. Adjase's appointment to KRHTS, he worked in hospitals in Ghana and served as municipal and district director of health services for nearly a decade and a half, providing services to urban, peri-urban and rural folks. He has been extensively involved in health development policy formulation and implementation and is a member of the Ghana Health Workforce Observatory.Dr. Adjase is chairman of the board of directors of the Kintampo Municipal Mutual Health Insurance Scheme — an affiliate of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in Ghana. He is a member of the Ghana Medical Association and an elected member of the Ghana Medical and Dental Council, which is the regulatory body responsible for regulating medical and dental practice in the country.

ReachMD, an innovative communications company, provides thought-provoking medical news and information to healthcare practitioners. Established to help increasingly time-constrained medical providers stay abreast of new research, treatment protocols and continuing education requirements, ReachMD delivers innovative and informative radio programming via XM Satellite Radio Channel 160 and online streaming developed by healthcare professionals for healthcare professionals.

The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.


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kwadwo Asante - Krobea Jnr (Kumasi) on 19 Apr 2011 at 9:55 am

A nice point from naty but I also suggest that, the physician assistant training should be available for registered degree nurses. They should be enrolled for at most two years. Lets move forward, GHANA

naty (libian) on 11 Nov 2010 at 10:54 pm

physician assistant program should be read in Ghana for the benefit of those who diidn't get chance in reading medicine in the medical schools.Now most countries ie South Africa have develop into reading the program and it has help a lot.eg when doctors goes on strike the physician assistant can take care of the hospital because this is the case where by he/she has undergo training into minor and medicial lessions.my point in view is for the ministry of health to allow some of the universties to read the program.

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