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Anaesthetists Withdraw OPD Services Over Name Change

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Certified Registered Anaesthetists in the country have embarked on a partial industrial action, effective Thursday, April 11, 2019.

The aggrieved health professionals are demanding a complete halt to plans by the Medical and Dental Council (MDC) to change their name from CRA to Physician Assistant Anaethetists through the amendment of the Health Professions Regulatory Bodies Act 857, Act (2013).

The CRS are expected to withdraw all outpatient services until April 15 after which the strike would be heightened by the withdrawal of all emergency services, should their name be changed.

This severe warning was contained in a letter written to the Minister of Health from the office of the Ghana Association of Certified Registered Anaesthetists.

“We have written to the ministry and other stakeholders and advised that should not be done because it carries serious implication to the interest of the patients we serve,” the letter read.

It continued: “We wish to state that the name ‘Certified Registered Anaesthetists’ should not be changed to Physician Assistants.”

The CRAs are accusing the Doctor Anaesthetists of hiding behind the Ghana Medical and Dental Council (MDC) to change their name from CRA to Physician Assistant-Anaesthetists―an issue they have been contending for the past six years.

The CRA said, “The need to change our name became necessary in 2013 when statistics indicated all anaesthetic services in the country are almost provided by CRA without the presence of Physician Anaesthetists in or within the operation room. It has remained same till date.”

In a statement, the aggrieved anaesthetists said their members must be engaged in any attempts to amend the Health Professions Regulatory Bodies Act 857, Act (2013) ―the same Act which supervised the change of name in 2013.

The CRA are also calling for a separate council to spearhead their activities adding that, CRAs must be appointed as the head of departments and units in the hospital. They also want to be included in the management team of the hospitals in which they provide services.

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