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Ghanaian doctors fail exams

A total of 157 out of 225 foreign trained Ghanaian doctors have failed the Medical and Dental Council’s (MDC)’s examination which grants them the licences to practise in Ghana.

Only 68, representing a 30.2 per cent pass rate, were able to prove their mettle in the examination conducted from February 22, 2019, to March 2, 2019, and results released last week.

Candidates who failed have the opportunity to register afresh and re-sit the examination involving multiple choice and problem-solving sessions as well as orals.

Some candidates who failed the February 2019 examination told the Ghanaian Times yesterday that they suspected foul play, alleging that the Council intentionally failed them in order to make more money from the re-sit.

However, MDC Registrar, Dr Eli Atukpui, when contacted over the matter, refuted the allegation, saying the results could not be manipulated as they went through rigorous processes and validated by examination committees, made up of level headed practitioners, who would not risk their reputation.

He revealed that the failure rate had been so for the past 19 years, as more than 50 per cent of foreign-trained candidates, who sat for the examination, failed each year.

He said the highest pass rate of 48 per cent was recorded in November 2017 with 139 candidates while the lowest pass rate was recorded in February the same year in which 180 candidates were examined.

Ghanaians trained as doctors in Cuba and Venezuela, he said, performed better.

The major cause of the failure, Dr Atukpui revealed, was that the candidates had poor knowledge in the various disciplines in the medical field including basic sciences, a claim which was corroborated by examiners’ reports shown the Ghanaian Times.

This, he said, stemmed from the practice where some of the foreign medical schools admitted students with poor West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) results and others who studied General Arts, Visual Arts and Home Economics instead of the General Sciences.

Some of the WASSCE results slips used to secure the admissions, sighted by the Ghanaian Times, showed a string of Ds, Es and Fs and were even inadmissible for general university programmes in Ghana, talk less of Medicine.

Dr Atukpui gave a portion of the blame to the foreign universities which did not seek the interpretation of applicants’ results as well as agents who were motivated by monetary gains, continued to link the ‘weak’ students to the universities.

Some of the foreign universities, he said, had the advanced equipment but the instructors and lecturers were not up to the task or were hindered, in some cases, by language difference.

Asked if the examination was backbreaking, he said in 2015, a trial examination was conducted for 30 medical students at the University of Ghana, at a short notice but all passed.

Dr Atukpui said the council, as part of efforts to reduce the failures, had advised parents to cross-check the backgrounds of foreign universities, before they enroll their wards.

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