The Ghana Doctors & Dentists Association UK (GDDA-UK) first came into existence on 9th September 2006, holding their inaugral meeting and adopting their constitution in Polchester, London. This group of Medical and Dental professionals from the Ghana diaspora, residing in the UK came together to join forces in both friendship with each other and support of healthcare in their homeland Ghana, adopting the motto, 'PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE & COMMUNITY SERVICE'. The GDDA-UK was born to shed light on the willingness of emigrant professionals to contribute skills and resources to help their home land, where appropriate institutions and processes exist to facilitate this.
At the inaugral meeting, the then Ghana High Commisioner to the UK, Mr Annan Cato, gave the keynote address, commending the association and expounding the progress of healthcare in Ghana, especially with regards to the new Ghana Health Insurance Scheme (GHIS), fairer renumeration for the care provided for healthcare workers and the desire for the nation to prevent its professionals from seeking greener pasture abroad.
Since that first meeting, the GDDA-UK has continued to grow into a vibrant organisation with a rich tapestery incorporating not only medics and dentists but also nurses, lawyers & accountants. Going forward, we hope to continue building alliances with ohter professions to strengthen our community and work for a better Ghana.
Our Mission & Vision
Our prime objectives is to provide support and advocacy for our members and promote the health of Ghanaians based in the UK. We want to equip our members to serve effectively in their chosen profession both in the UK and at home.
In addition to this we hope to:
Encourage our members to give of their time & expertise to support health care in Ghana on a voluntary basis
Provide clinical, leadership and educational resources and training to institutions in Ghana
Develop professional networks to enable members stay abreast of changes in their field
Develop professional networks which enable professionals to keep in contact with their compatriots
Seek collaboration with Ghana-based Doctors and Dentists, the Ghana Government and NGOs which can play a role in developing programs which will enable us to contribute to the profession in the UK as well as to give something back to Ghana
A system of skills circulation and exchange to provide service and education on an on-going basis where professionals can offer their time and resources
Serve the Ghanaian community in the UK by providing leaflets and resources on common health problems which affect the UK based Ghana community
Encourage effective workforce utilisation both home and abroad
Provide outreach programs to Ghana annually
In addition to all this, The GDDA-UK continues to work with Korle-Bu and the Ghana Medical & Dental Council to improve the process of registering to practice in Ghana, for those who wish to return home.
Ghana like a lot of developing countries have institutions and processes in place, often instituted without consulting the potential emigrants or returnees, which are often geared towards preventing professionals from leaving and none for integrating them on their return. This frustrating state of affairs ultimately results in countries like Ghana not benefiting from the accumulated skills and experience that would be available if and when these emigrants return home. Returnees often face a hit-and-miss land tenure system, excessive bureaucracy, unfavourable social environments, poor equipment and working conditions, and, above all, inaccessible, non-transparent and tortuous systems of redress when things go wrong. In their frustration many eventually decide to move back to the countries whose systems they have come to understand and admire at great personal, financial, emotional and professional costs to them resulting in loss of skills to their countries of origin in addittion to often experiencing difficulty maintaining their networks.
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