Northern Regional Health Service has bemoaned the unwillingness of doctors to accept posting to the region after completing housemanship training.

The Region's Deputy Director of Public Health, Dr John Abenyeri revealed no doctor choose to serve in any of the health centers under the Ghana Health Service.

"They were given the opportunity to choose that they would like to go to and it happened that no doctor chose the Northern Region," he said at a consultative meeting with Health Minister, Kweku Agyeman Manu who is on a three-day working visit.

Dr John Abenyeri said he found it even more shocking that none of the doctors trained at the Region's only medical school at University for Development Studies chose to serve in the North after they completed their housemanship.

The doctor to patient ratio in the North stands at one doctor to 51,000 patients.

In an interview with the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, explained that although no one chose the Region, the Service still posted newly qualified doctors there.

To address the inequalities in doctor distribution, the Director-General said regional health services will now be in charge of recruiting their own doctors.

Under the decentralisation plan, the Ghana Health Service will no longer be posting doctors from Accra to hospitals under the service.

The regional heads will conduct interviews after declaring vacancies, he said.

Dr. Nsiah-Asare charged the Northern Regional Health Service to put in place measures to attract doctors.

Describing it as the carrot approach, the Director-General said the management can put newly qualified doctors in hotels while they work to secure befitting bungalows for them.

He said these were some of the measures he adopted while he worked at the Tamale Teaching Hospital between 1995 to 2001.

He believes an important key to attracting doctors is the efficient use of finances and resources to sell attractive working conditions to new doctors. 

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