The Scholarship Secretariat has described claims by former president John Mahama that gynaecologists and other specialists were part of the 250 doctors trained in Cuba as untrue.
The Secretariat says all the 250 trained doctors are general practitioners.
Speaking at the Al Sunna Eid Prayers on the occasion of Eid ul Adha at the Efua Sutherland Park in Accra, Mr. Mahama said his administration tried to give women in Muslim communities the opportunity to train in specialised fields to serve the Zongo communities.
“About six years ago, we got scholarships to send some children to Cuba to go and train as doctors. There was something significant that we did when we got the scholarship. We decided to deliberately source girls from the Muslim communities in order that we could go and train them as doctors especially in the area of Gynaecology”, the former president said.
“…So we deliberately looked for some Muslim girls and included them in this batch of students who went to Cuba. We had to strategically place them so that our mothers from the Muslim community and others who want to consult for their reproductive health can have our sisters who are qualified as doctors to be able to look after them,” he added.
But speaking to Citi News, Registrar of the Scholarship Secretariat Kingsley Agyeman said former President Mahama got things wrong.
“That is palpable falsehood. I wouldn’t say he lied. Maybe his handlers couldn’t brief him well. All the doctors who are here are general practitioners. None of them is a specialist.”
“He again also asserted that more women were taken. That is also a palpable lie in the sense that, per the statistics that I gave, out of the 250 students that went, 165 were male”, he said.
The government spent $37 million to train the doctors sent to Cuba.
Though the cost per head stood at $96,090 per student, the government negotiated the expenditure per student down to $55,000.
The doctors were sent to Cuba under the John Evans Atta Mills administration in 2012 as part of a special arrangement between Ghana and Cuba.