The Fifth Inter-Medical School Public Speaking Competition To Promote Psychiatry Launched

The fifth 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 Development Studies Auditorium in Tamale on Thursday the 29 th of October 2015 from 12 noon.

This was announced at a brief ceremony in Dublin recently where Professor James Lucey and Mr. Paul Gilligan, Medical Director and the CEO of St Patrick’s University Hospital presented a sponsorship package to Professor 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.

The two runners-up will also receive 1000 Dollars in sponsorship to undertake four weeks electives in psychiatry in a hospital in Ghana. The two winners from last year’s competition will commence a four-week all expenses paid elective placement at St Patrick’s University Hospital on the 12th of August 2015. The competition have so far seen 14 Ghanaian medical students benefit from four weeks 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 “’Develop a creative model for community mental health care that is mindful of traditions and beliefs’. The general public and the media are cordially invited to attend and support 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. On his part, Professor 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 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. In particular, he lamented about the non-release of any government funds for the operations of the Mental Health Authority since the creation of the Authority over a year ago.


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