Ghana’s Embassy in Havana, Cuba has described as “preposterous and sheer attention-seeking” allegations Cuban-trained Ghanaian doctors due back in Ghana were being frustrated.
Former Member of Parliament for Sege, Alex Abayateye was reported to have alleged that some government officials are frustrating some Cuba-trained Ghanaian doctors who are due back in the country soon.
According to him, the doctors have had their passports and certificates seized while some officials continue to demand monies from the doctors to allow them to practice in Ghana.
However, in a statement Thursday, Ghana’s Embassy in Havana, Cuba repudiated the former lawmaker’s claims untenable
“The Embassy finds these allegations to be unfortunate, preposterous, and sheer attention-seeking venture. The Mission expected the former Honourable MP to have, at least, conferred with the Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration to crosscheck his facts before going public,” the statement stated.
Below is the full statement
RE: FORMER MP CHIDES GOVERNMENT OVER ‘ILL-TREATMENT’ OF CUBA-TRAINED GHANAIAN DOCTORS
The attention of the Embassy of Ghana in Havana, Cuba has been drawn to the GhanaWeb’s article 770136 dated 7th August, 2019 purported to have been occasioned by former Member of Parliament (MP) for Sege, Hon. Alex Abayateye, “alleging that some Government officials are frustrating some Cuban-trained Ghanaian doctors who are due back in the country soon”.
- The former MP further pontificated that the said Ghanaian doctors have “had their passports and documents seized while some officials continue to demand monies from the doctors under the pretext of helping them to practice in Ghana”.
- The Embassy finds these allegations to be unfortunate, preposterous, and sheer attention seeking venture. The Mission expected the former Honourable MP to have, at least, conferred with the Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration to crosscheck his facts before going public.
- As the former MP may be aware, the facts on the ground are as follows:
The Embassy of Ghana in Havana, Cuba has over the past 7 years provided the most efficient and effective administrative support for the medical doctors.
The Mission has prepared and paid all the students’ stipends due the medical doctors as at 31st July, 2019.
The Embassy of Ghana in conjunction with the, executives of the National Union of Ghana Students, Cuba (NUGS) held intensive negotiations with Mr. Kingsley Agyemang, Registrar of the Scholarships Secretariat and Dr. Margaret Chebere, Director of Human Resources, Ghana Health Services on 4th April, 2019 at the Chancery.
The outcome of the said meeting, which was communicated to the students is as follows:
- Shipment Allowance remains at $500 and Scholarships Secretariat pays once for the GMDC’s Exams registration fee of $700 in Ghana for each student;
- NUGS to furnish Scholarships Secretariat with a list of all students and three (3) choices of locations where they prefer to have their attachments upon their return to Ghana so preparations could commence before their arrival;
- Graduation date to be on 18th July, 2019 and departure tentatively set for 9th August, 2019;
- Scholarships Secretariat has agreed to pay fully for the cost of the kente sashes – invoice given to the Registrar for his approval and funds sent to Accra for payment (sashes purchased and used during graduation ceremony);
- Certificates to be given to the Mission not students and translation to be handled by the Mission and the Cuban Authorities;
- Scholarships Secretariat to seek financial clearances and possibly increase shipment allowance (shipment allowance increased from $500 to $800);
- Process for release of stipends for the 2nd quarter underway and funds to be received soon. Book Allowance will be paid in the 3rd quarter (all payments have been made as at 31st July, 2019); and
- Scholarships Secretariat to receive all students in Accra, keep them together for a couple of days (at the University of Ghana, Legon or some other resident facility) for orientation.
On the matter of collection of certificates and other documents, it is worth mentioning that the certificates and other documents are in Spanish and the need for translation cannot be overemphasized. Understandably, the translation exercise is a pre-requisite for all foreign trained professionals who desire to work or operate in Ghana and those trained in Cuba are no exception. The Embassy therefore received all the documents and invited each doctor to carefully cross-check every detail of his/her documents before being presented to the Cuban Translation Bureau for translation.
Currently the Embassy has presented a total of 197 duly certified documents to the Bureau for the needed translation and is working around the clock, with the assistance of Dr. Nyarko Quansah, the outgoing President of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS)-Cuba, to have all the 24 remaining documents deposited before Friday 9th August, 2019.
It comes as a surprise that the former Hon. MP chooses to confuse the public by imputing that Doctors’ passport have been seized instead of telling the bare truth that the newly qualified Doctors were only requested to provide photocopy of the bio-data page of their passports to enable the Airline’s agent prepare the manifest for the flight for departure on Friday, 9th August, 2019 to Accra. This matter could have been resolved easily if the former Honourable MP had chosen to check his facts from the competent state authorities, the Scholarships Secretariat, Health and the Foreign Ministries.
The Embassy finds the allegation concerning the demand for money by some officials as a crime. The former MP may wish to proceed to court for a legal redress of the matter. However, the Embassy can state categorically that no official from the Mission has ever demanded monies or favour from the Doctors, the opposite is rather the case.
With reference to Hon. Alex Abayateye’s statement “why this treatment, why is the NPP government doing this?” Mission advises the former MP for Sege not to drag the young professionals to what is generally termed in Ghana as “dirty politics”. The NPP administration has fulfilled with pride and dignity its commitment to these young doctors as Ghanaians.
For further information on this matter, please contact the Embassy of Ghana, Havana, Cuba during official working hours on telephone numbers + 53 72042153/ +53 72042613. Kindly note that Ghana is four (4) hours ahead of the Republic of Cuba, therefore the working hours of the Embassy of Ghana, Havana, Cuba are as follows: