Newly Trained Eye Specialists Leaving Ghana For Jobs
By Eric Boateng
In a communique issued and signed by its national president, Professor Dr. Samuel Bert Boadi-Kusi, they cited issues of low salaries and unfavorable working conditions as factors driving many of these newly-trained optometrists out of the country.
The communique indicated that many newly qualified optometrists are also struggling to find employment in Ghana, forcing them to seek opportunities abroad.
The communique also urged government to invest in the optometry sector by providing better opportunities for training, equipping eye care clinics and hospitals, and increasing salaries and benefits for optometrists.
“Improving the conditions of service for optometrists in Ghana would not only retain local talent but attract skilled optometrists from other countries to work in the country.
“This would help to improve the quality of eye care services and promote the development of the sector, benefiting the people of Ghana,” the communique said.
The association is also calling for the enactment of laws to get rid of quack optometrists who have infiltrated the optometry practice.
“Quack optometrists are individuals who have no formal training or qualifications in optometry but pose as eye care experts and provide substandard services to patients,” it explained.
This, according to the association, poses a significant risk to the eye health of Ghanaians, as it could lead to misdiagnosis, incorrect treatment, or further complications.
The association wants the government to enforce existing laws regulating eye care practice and to create more stringent regulations to ensure that only trained and qualified optometrists are allowed to provide eye care services to the public.
It noted that the proliferation of quack optometrists was a result of inadequate regulation and enforcement of standards for eye care practice.
It emphasized the need for the government to take urgent action to protect the health and safety of Ghanaians by cracking down on quack optometrists.
The president of the association, Professor Dr. Samuel Bert Boadi-Kusi, argued that by enacting laws to get rid of quack optometrists, the government would help to safeguard the integrity of the optometry profession in Ghana, promote quality eye care services and protect the health and safety of patients.
The communique also urged the government to invest in the optometry sector by providing better opportunities for training, equipping eye care clinics and hospitals, and increasing salaries and benefits for optometrists.
The association, in its communique, further entreated the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to subject spectacle lenses to standard checks before they are allowed to be sold or used.
It expressed grave concern over the quality of spectacle lenses being sold and used in country.
It also warned that many of the lenses on the market do not meet the necessary standards, which could result in adverse effects on the vision and eye health of consumers.
The association urged the FDA to put in place measures to test and certify all spectacle lenses imported or manufactured locally to ensure they meet the necessary standards before they can be sold or used.
The move, according to the association, would help to protect the public from the risks associated with poor quality products and help to promote quality eye care services in the country.
The communique was issued at a joint African Council of Optometry annual general meeting held at Ho, the Volta Regional capital.
The meeting which brought together top Optometrists from African countries such as South Africa, Nigeria, Ethiopia,
Zimbabwe among others was under the theme “Expanding Optometric practice in Africa; Focus on scoop, training and legislation.”