Inadequate facilities hampering training at KNUST Medical School

6672935494428_4496610725091Inadequate infrastructure is hampering the quality of teaching and learning at the School of Medical Sciences (SMS) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

The School has limited space for students and has had to rely on individuals and corporate institutions to supplement government’ funding.

Vice-Dean of the Medical School, Professor Agyemang-Yeboah, says though the School has produced some of the best professionals in the country, the constraints threaten good quality training.

“Logistically, we have problems so we are under pressure. We don’t get quality training even though we have quality trainers,” he said.

The KNUST Medical School, established in 1975, has relied on central government funding and other key resources to run its programmes.

Forty years on, infrastructure and other facilities have seen little expansion in the face of increasing students’ population.

Out of an average of 800 qualified applications received annually, only about 240 are admitted.

Parents have been left frustrated because their A-grade wards are denied admission into medical schools.

Officials are worried many qualified applicants are being denied their right to pursue their dreams of becoming doctors, who are in short supply in the country.

Ideally, a doctor-to-student ratio at bed-side training should be one to five, but currently the school is contending with a doctor to between 25 and 30 students.

Under the circumstances, Prof. Agyemang-Yeboah observed it is difficult to control the brain-drain of doctors.

“Because we don’t have the facilities, a lot of good students who complete Senior High School have had to pay their way to China, and Ukraine,” he observed. “We lose a lot of foreign exchange. Why government can’t come to our aid, expand our facilities and train more post-graduate doctors and retain them in the country?”

Prof. Agyemang-Yeboah explains continued engagement with relevant authorities for intervention has received no positive response.

Professor FAY, as he is affectionately called, is appealing for increased public assistance to sustain the school’s mandate of training doctors.

“When we do that, in not time we can build our institutions,” he noted.

Meanwhile, the 2005 year group of KNUST SMS students has renovated and refurbished three study rooms at the Getfund Hostel at the cost of 50,000 Ghana Cedis.

This hostel, meant for Clinical Students, for instance has a capacity of 120 but current population is 250 putting pressure on the facilities.

The group also known as the ‘Dream Class’ was led by Dr. Asante Darko who challenged other year groups to follow emulate the gesture.