Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has called for the adoption of an electronic health record system that allows for the exchange of patients? health information no matter which facility the person visits.

Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur
Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur

He said most medical records of patients are fragmented and not available to other specialists because many hospitals would want to retain the medical history of their patients for their exclusive use.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur made the call at the Annual General Meeting and Scientific Meeting of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons (GCPS) in Accra.

The three-day meeting which is on theme: ?Improving emergency care in Ghana,? is being attended by physician specialists across the country.

The College which was established in 2003 has so far produced 541 specialists, 247 in medicine and 294 in surgery. Besides 25 of the specialists have also passed the required exams and has become fellows of the college.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur also stated that the arrival of ?Dr Google? in people?s homes has introduced another challenge to modern physician and as such they need to change their mind-set in relation to their patients.

He said specialist needs to be more open with their patients because increasing number of people undertakes on-line diagnosis to try determined what ails them even before they approach a medical facility.

He said people no longer accept what physicians tell them at face value because they would subject them to test to confirm the diagnosis.

?We check the quality of the medicine you prescribe for its efficacy. Thus we are increasingly able to second-guess you with considerable ease and sometimes refuse to accept the medicines you prescribe? he added.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur further expressed concern about the reluctance of doctors to serve outside the cities and therefore urged GCPS to encourage its trainees to appreciate the need for the rural population to also benefit from the fruits of its labour.

He said the government also endorses the effort of the College to decentralise medical postgraduate training to stem the drift to Accra and Kumasi in particular for training.

He said the ongoing upgrading and re-equipment of some health facilities should speed up the accreditation of these health facilities for postgraduate trainings.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur also stated that establishment of the college has reduced the high attrition rate of medical practitioners previously awarded sponsorship for postgraduate professional training abroad.

He said from about 49 per cent in 1998 the rate of emigration of medical graduates, have declined to about 14 per cent in 2008.

He said the government acknowledges the role of the College in increasing the number of specialists available in the country and retaining them.

In all 104 new physician specialists who had passed the required exams were inducted into the college whiles 10 new fellows were also initiated into the institution.

GNA

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