The Silliness of Ghana’s Medical Schools


If I am permitted to perpetrate my ignorance of economics, then I may conclude that Ghana’s university admission system is a socialist market. Let’s say the government decides it can only subsidise for 500 medical students, and there are 5000 applications, then the University have no choice than to end up with a 10% acceptance rate. They do this by accepting the top 500 based on merit, in this case using WASSCE results, hence the cut-off points in admission. So even though admission numbers is determined by the number of applicants, forming the demand, the supply of admission spots is dictated by government funding. Of course in many cases, the University may have more than 500 spots for grabs, and so may resort to admitting those who are willing and able to pay full tuition fees.

Admittedly, the process is not as clear cut as I posit here but generally this is how it works. Now supposing there were 700 applicants with a perfect score of 8As applying to a Medical School that can only take 500 regular students, what will the University do? You chew on that. But even beyond that whoever said you need an aggregate 6 to go to Medical School? You tell me!

We live in a country where if you major in Science in high school and you fail to enter Medical School, it is a career disaster. I may be exaggerating and drunk on too much self-assuredness, but I can wager that 90% of high school Science students dream of becoming medical doctors. However with the harsh realities of Medical School admissions being entirely dependent on a one-off, do or die WASSCE examination and limited government funding, many of these Medical School hopefuls end up in some “3nny3 hwee” Chemistry program or a “fa no saa” Socioso class. Don’t shoot me yet, I am not defacing any of these programs. Chemistry or Physics or Biological Science are awesome fields of study but I could swear to you that an overwhelming majority of those taking these programs are disappointed Medical students. They were forced to settle for those programs. Why should this happen? The other science programs just happen to be unattractive because there is no job market for them except in the high school science classroom as teachers.

My embittered bemusement with this dream-killing system is premised by my conclusion that anyone who steps into a high school science classroom joins a league of extra-ordinary unbeknownst masochists who need to top their league of brainiacs, just to go play in a Champions league group of death, where victory that guarantees entrance into Medical School is “twerked” by a ludicrous government education support system.

The silliness in all these is that the same government spends tons of money every year on Cuban doctors, imported to meet the deficit in medical doctors in the country. I cannot help but be shamefully impressed at how educated individuals manning state affairs could overlook the opportunity to invest in putting more Ghanaian students into Medical school, in favour of foreign doctors who are brought in as expatriates and enjoy impressive incomes and benefits. After all, if the remuneration was bad, Cuban doctors would not have traded their home country for my “dumsor” Ghana, with all due respect to them.

In the end, if you do make it to Medical School and survive the torture to graduate, there is no job where you are guaranteed to be on strike than being a medical doctor in Ghana. I am absolutely lost! Shame on us!!

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