Members of the Ghana Association of Certified Registered Anaesthetists (GACRA) have threatened to withdraw their services effective Friday, January 31, 2020, over an alleged attempt by the Medical and Dental Council (MDC) to change their title to Physician Assistants.
In an interview with Accra-based Class FM, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the association, Mr Seth McAndor, said though an Act has been passed for them to be known as Certified Registered Anaesthetists, the MDC wants to change it.
“An Act of Parliament was passed that says we should be known and called Certified Registered Anaesthetists but Medical and Dental Council says otherwise so that’s basically why we want to withdraw our services”, he said.
According to Mr McAndor, the name Physician Assistant does not reflect what they do, however, if the MDC still thinks they are assistants, then they (MDC) should bring a “substantive anaesthetist” for them to do the “assisting”.
“We provide anaesthesia on our own, we bear 80% responsibility during surgery so we do not assist anybody”, he emphasised.
They were formerly known as Physician Assistants but went on strike in April last year to demand a name change.
According to Mr McAndor, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the GACRA and the then Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), that the MDC would halt whatever plans they had and that it wasn’t going to come up again.
“What they are seeking to do now is to change our course name from BSc Anaesthesia to Bsc Physician Assistant. In that case when you have that kind of degree, when you have that kind of qualification, then straight away you are an Assistant so that is what they are trying to do now and that is what we are trying to quash”, he said.