The fourth inter-medical schools public speaking competition to promote psychiatry launched

The fourth edition of the inter-medical school public speaking competition to promote psychiatry as a fulfilling career option for Ghanaian medical students will take place at the University of Cape Coast School of Medical Sciences Auditorium on Friday the 17th of October 2014 from 12 noon.

This was announced at a brief ceremony in Dublin recently where Mr. Paul Gilligan, and Ms. Sarah Surgenor, the CEO and Communications manager of St Patrick’s University Hospital met recently with Dr Vincent Agyapong, founder of the competition and Medical Director of Vincent Agyapong Professional Corporation in Alberta, Canada.

St Patrick’s University Hospital and Vincent Agyapong Professional Corporation are co-sponsoring this year’s competition, which will see the two winners of the competition undertake a four-week fully sponsored elective placement at St Patrick’s University Hospital in Dublin. With the two winners from last years completion currently undertaking a four week all expenses paid elective placement at St Patrick’s University Hospital, the competition have so far seen 12 Ghanaian medical students benefit from four week each of sponsored elective placements in two psychiatric hospitals (St Patrick’s University Hospital and St John of God Hospital) in Dublin.

The topic for this year’s competition is “Towards mobilising political and social will to modernise mental health care delivery in Ghana-the way forward”.  The general public and the media are invited to attend the competition.

Mr. Paul Gilligan expressed the preparedness of St Patrick’s University Hospital to provide ongoing sponsorship for the competition as part of efforts by the hospital to play a leading role in mental health education globally. He expressed support for ongoing discussions to extend the elective placements to Ghanaian doctors training in Psychiatry locally with the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons in order to make it attractive for Ghanaian doctors to want to train in mental health.

On his part, Dr Vincent Agyapong who is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Alberta and the founder and former Chairperson of the Association of Ghanaian Professionals in Ireland (AGPI) commended the Management of St Patrick’s University Hospital for their ongoing commitment towards supporting Ghana with its developmental efforts, specifically in the area of mental health education.

He implored the management of the hospital to adopt proposals aimed at extending the sponsorship package to Ghanaian doctors training in Psychiatry in Ghana so that they gain valuable exposure to modern evidence based practice of psychiatry in the developed world.

He also used the occasion to appeal to the Government of Ghana to make mental health a priority in its budgetary allocation so that doctors, nurses and other allied health professionals working in mental health in Ghana get all the necessary tools they need to work with and assist their patients in their journey towards full recovery.

He expressed worry that the efforts by St Patrick’s University Hospital and other non-governmental stakeholders will not achieve all the desired impact if the government does not compliment these efforts with the appropriate budgetary support for mental health programs and interventions.

Source: Vincent Agyapong Professional Corporation

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