The idea to establish a Medical School at UCC was conceived in the mid-1970s by the then Vice-Chancellor, Prof. J. Yanney-Ewusie who indicated that the Faculty of Science could support a Medical School whenever a Regional Hospital was built in Cape Coast.
However, it was not until April 2003, when the then Vice Chancellor, Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Adow Obeng, set up an eleven ( 11 )- member committee to deliberate on the issue, that plans to set up the School began in earnest. The committee, chaired by Prof. V.P.Y. Gadzekpo, the then Dean of the Faculty of Science, UCC, was tasked to draft a curriculum for the new school, identify and define the needs for its establishment, provide a time line for its commencement and identify possible sources for funding. Other members of the committee were Prof. K.N. Eyeson ( Director, Academic Quality Assurance Unit, UCC ), Prof. Mansah Prah ( Department of Sociology, UCC ), Dr. Aaron Offei ( Regional Director, Central Regional Health Services ), Dr. Osei Kofi ( Director, Central Regional Hospital, Cape Coast ), Dr S.A. Fiakpornoo ( UCC Hospital ), Dr. Martin Morna ( Central Regional Hospital ), Mr. Akwasi Kumi-Kyereme ( Department of Geography and Tourism ), and Rev. Evelyn E. Nickel ( Faculty Officer, Faculty of Science ) as its secretary.
The committee co-opted a few more persons from the nursing and medical professions and the health ministry of Ghana and received invaluable inputs from several other healthcare workers and Directors at various Ministry of Health Facilities in the Central Region and in Accra. The committee’s proposal was presented to the Vice Chancellor on 22nd of January 2004 and reported in the Regional News Section of the Daily Graphic on Wednesday, March 3, 2004 (Daily Graphic Archives, courtesy Prof. V.P.Y. Gadzekpo).
After approval of the committee’s proposals by the Academic Board, the University Council and, subsequently by the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE), the Vice Chancellor, Prof. E.A. Obeng, in the same year set up an Implementation Committee under the chairmanship of Prof. Kobina Dodoo and the late Prof. E.C. Quaye. Secretarial services were provided at different times by Messrs. P.K. Mensah, K. Buadi and Dr. K. Gyasi Badu. The mandate of this other committee was to seek national approval, find partnerships, appoint a Coordinator and prepare a schedule of activities to ensure the take-off of the School.
These events culminated in the appointment of the Founding Dean Rev. Prof. H.S. Amonoo-Kuofi in August 2005, who on reviewing the proposal, recommended its revision and inclusion of an innovative, student-centered, community-oriented, integrated and problem-based curriculum. This new proposal was re-presented to the Academic Board, and through Council and NCTE, to the National Accreditation Board (NAB). In the interim, efforts were also made to solicit support from various interest groups. Maersk (Ghana) Limited donated $140,000 towards the construction of the anatomy laboratory, while Hon. Kennedy Agyapong and Agricultural Development Bank also donated GHS25,000 and GHS10,000 respectively.
The matriculation of the pioneering students and formal inauguration of the School was in January, 2008. In June, 2009 a joint agreement was signed between the School of Medical Sciences, the Central Regional Hospital, the Central Regional Health Administration and Ghana Health Services (GHS) to use the Central Regional Hospital as the main teaching site for the clinical aspect of the programme. In August, 2013 the first batch of forty-two (42) medical doctors graduated from UCCSMS and were sworn in by the Medical and Dental Council, Ghana. The status of the Regional Hospital was changed to a Teaching Hospital through the advocacy of the University of Cape Coast and School of Medical Sciences in March, 2014.
UCC adopted the Collegiate System in August 2014 and placed the School of Medical Sciences and School of Nursing and Midwifery under the College of Health and Allied Sciences. A School of Allied Health Sciences was subsequently added to the College in August 2015.
Until recently, the School only run one undergraduate degree programme (i.e. MB. ChB.). Since the 2016/2017 academic year, however, the Department of Microbiology and Immunology of the School has started the first postgraduate programme for an MPhil. In Microbiology and Infection. In the preceding year, the Departments Of Surgery and Internal Medicine & Therapeutics separately gained accreditation from the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons to begin clinical postgraduate training toward the award of a membership (clinical specialist grade). Currently, four other departments have completed proposals for MPhil. /PhD. programmes, while the remaining clinical departments are also preparing for accreditation to begin clinical postgraduate training in Cape Coast.