The Islamic Medical Association of Ghana (IMAG) has been formally launched with a call on Muslim health workers to always exhibit the true tenets of Islam at their work places.
The health workers were also encouraged to show compassion to their patients as taught by the Islamic faith.
In his address, Hon. Ben Abdallah, the Offinso -North MP, lauded the creation of the Association and advised the leadership to stay focus on the objectives for which the Association was formed.
He was of the believe that the newly formed IMAG will not only benefit Muslims but Ghanaians in general.
To that end, the Parliamentarian advised for IMAG not be turned it into a political movement and must also not indulge in politics in order for it to be neutral and credible in the eyes of the people.
He described the outdooring of IMAG as historical and heartwarming as for the first time a distinct Islamic health movement has been created to complement the efforts of the government and other stakeholders in the quest to ensure affordable and quality health care delivery in Ghana.
According to him, successful governments have made different strides to provide quality health care deliveries over the years.
He mentioned the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), free maternity care, construction and rehabilitation of new and existing hospitals, clinics and CHIP compounds as well as upgrading of polyclinics etc, as some of the efforts made for accessible and quality health care delivery in Ghana.
Hon. Ben Abdallah noted that despite these strides, the health sector is still faced with challenges which requires that other bodies has to come in to extend a helping hand to the government for the benefit of all.
The Offinso – North MP pinpointed the doctor to patient’s ratio as a big challenge bedeviling the sector. He noted that currently in Ghana the doctor to patients’ ratio stands at one doctor to 8000 patients, a gap he referred to as alarming and unacceptable
He further mentioned lack of good road networks, unavailability of medicines and health workers, ineffective ambulance systems amongst others as other negative issues hampering quality and accessible health care delivery in Ghana.
He therefore recommended for the need for the executives and parliament to formulate and pass laws appropriate for affordable health care delivery in the country.
Mr. Ben Abdallah also entreated the judicial arm of government and the citizenry to play active roles in ensuring we have good health care delivery.
This he said the judiciary should punish any health professional who neglect his core duties which are meant to save mankind whilst the citizens also need to collaborate with the appropriate law enforcing agencies to ensure we all play our expected roles in the sector.
He added his voice on the need for all Muslims especially the well to do ones to support IMAG financially to be able to carry out its mandates effectively.
On his part, Mr. Samuel, a representative from the Christian Health Workers Association Ghana (CHAG) welcomed the formation of IMAG and pledged his outfits’ readiness to collaborate and support each other in the sector.
The government alone cannot do it, Mr. Samuel said and there’s therefore the urgent need for faith based organizations like ours to join in to complement the government.
In his closing remarks, Ambassador Lt.Col. (rtd) Umar Sandah Ahmed commended the initiators of IMAG but also bemoaned its late formation as compared to its sister organization, the CHAG which has been in existence since 1968 and the Nigerian Islamic Medical Association (IMAN).
IMAG has come at the right time with regards to the current health care crisis troubling the country.
“It’s appropriate that as health personnel you merge compassion with your work. The government can provide us with all the needed facilities but if the compassion is not there then we are doomed as a nation “.
The former national Imam of the Ghana Armed Forces cautioned against IMAG going political. He admonished them to remain resolute
The ceremony brought together participants from the legislature, clergy, academia, health sector and the media.
Source: Mohammed Saani Ibrahim