HISTORY OF THE SCHOOL
Anaesthesia practice in Ghana is merely satisfactory under-resourced, and neglected, despite the fact that Anaesthesia is one of the core specialist areas in the healthcare delivery system. Most of the practitioners are nurses. Physician (Doctor) Anaesthetists started to join the practice only recently. This may be attributable to the post-graduate training now being offered by the West Africa Postgraduate Medical College and the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons.
The Health Care delivery system in the country has been confronted with the balance between the benefits of having Physician Assistant (Anaesthesia) and the administration of ketamine/diazepam by the operating doctors/surgeons without any monitoring of the patient during surgery. This controversy persisted despite numerous advances to resolve them. One day a discussion that ensued between Dr. George Crenstil of La General Hospital and Dr. Jonathan K. Kumah of Ridge Regional Hospital brought forth the idea of starting a school to train Physician Assistant (Anaesthesia) in the Ridge Regional Hospital. The following reasons informed their decision:
The existing two schools (Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi and the 37 Military Hospital, Accra) could not turn out adequate numbers of Physician Assistant (Anaesthesia)s to adequately address the ever-increasing number of surgeries being performed in the Country.
The Ridge Regional Hospital was engaging locum Physician Assistants (Anaesthesia) to augment its staff strength in order to cope with the huge numbers of surgeries to be performed. This mode of recruitment was very expensive, draining the coffers of the institution.
A survey conducted revealed that this problem was not related to Ridge Regional Hospital alone, but is pervasive and nation-wide.
In order to achieve MDGs 4 and 5, there was the urgent need to look for long lasting solutions than the ad-hoe measures: that is to have adequate numbers of Physician Assistant (Anaesthesia) to help reduce the numbers of maternal and infant morbidity and mortality. Discussions related to issues of starting a school of anaesthesia with Greater Accra Regional Director of Health Services was initiated by Dr. Crenstil and Dr. Kumah. Subsequently, a comprehensive proposal was developed and presented by Dr. J.K. Kumah on 25th June, 2006 to the Greater Accra Regional Director of Health Services, Director of Human Resource Directorate GHS, the Director-General of the GHS and the Minister of Health.
The entire administration of Ridge Regional Hospital especially Mr. Kwame Opoku the Hospital Administrator and Dr. George Acquaye, the Medical Director at the time, fully accepted and supported the project, and gave their full backing.
We wish to place on record that the Greater Accra Regional Director of Health Services, Prof. Irene Agyepong, spearheaded the project.
In November, 2008 an action plan for the establishment of the school was drawn and adopted. There were a series of meetings between stakeholders to implement the action plan. This action plan was followed through. It should be noted that all stakeholders played a very important role and were keen in seeing this vision realized. This paved the way for a selection interview which was held on the 9th September, 2009.
A total of thirty (30) students applied and presented themselves for the selection interview. The panel comprised representatives from MOH / HRHD /GHS / HRDD, Greater Accra Regional Health Directorate and Ridge Regional Hospital. A comprehensive report on the selection interview has been submitted to MOH, GHS/HRDD and the Greater Accra Regional Health Directorate. Out of the thirty (30) applicants only 20 were selected, with representation from all over the Country. From the 19th to the 21st of October, 2009, an orientation for the lecturers (part time) was conducted. A total of 25-part time lecturers were taken through teaching methodologies, lesson plans and had them go through macro teaching. This offered lecturers (part time) the opportunity to be able to lecture according to standard of the Ghana Education Service.
The school has an administration with a library, skill acquisition room, a reception / registrar. There is a School Core ManagementTeam, School Management Team, School Advisory Board and an Academic Board in place to see to the efficient and effective running of the school.
The Kybele Group, our partners from the USA, pay working visits to school to teach at least two times a year (i.e.January and September) and have also donated some books for the school library.
The School of Anaesthesia and Critical Care will train Anaesthetists with the right theoretical and practical knowledge, who can comapare favourably with Anaesthetist worldwide