All medical practitioners will be mandated to carry a practitioner’s stamp bearing their name and number from January 2018, following a directive by the Medical and Dental Council.
The Council had said back in May 2016 that, it would introduce practitioners’ stamps in July of that year, but more than a year following the announcement, the plans for the mandatory use of the stamps are now being rolled out.
The Registrar of the Medical and Dental Council, Dr. Eli Atikpui, said this measure is being put in place to ensure that practitioners with the Council are easily identified by the patients they care for.
This he believes will help root out persons who operate as medical practitioners without licenses.
“Any practitioner that has registered with the Medical and Dental Council has a unique number, and Council is saying that, from January next year, all practitioners working in Ghana in any health institution registered by the Medical and Dental Council should carry a practitioners’ stamp. When you go to your institution and you are given a prescription, the first thing to look out for is the practitioner’s stamp where you’ll have the practitioner’s name and unique number,” he said
Dr. Atikpui also stated that, the Council was working on getting their practitioners to wear name tags as well, in the institutions they work.
“The other thing is we are trying to ensure that any institution that has practitioners working in, they practitioners should go there with name tags. These are the things we are trying to institute to ensure that we are all safe and the Ghanaian at large is safe,” he added.
Meanwhile, a former Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) Dr. Ebenezer Appiah-Denkyira, has lauded the new directive, but called for more cooperation between the public and the regulatory agencies.
“It’s a step in the right direction, the public should be educated that the doctor is the one who has undertaken a course of study and has been certified to practice. You only know that doctor by the stamp of the regulatory body, if the public understands this, anytime you go to any place and somebody prescribes something you are not afraid because you know where to seek clarifications,” he said.
“There are a lot of people who practice in the villages that the public are not aware of. In that case, they need to work closely with the people at the health facility regulatory agencies.”
Quacks rooted out
Since January 2016, 20 quack doctors have been arrested across the country.
Ten (10) of the quack doctors were arrested in the Greater Accra Region, three in the Central Region, and the rest were arrested in the Volta and Eastern Regions.
Dr. Atikpui explained that, of the 20 arrested, five had been prosecuted and sentenced.