Stay and develop the health sector – Gov’t pleads with nurses following brain drain concerns

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The Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare has pleaded with health professionals, especially nurses, who are exiting the country in search of better opportunities to stay and develop the sector.

He noted that Ghanaians are looking up to them to meet their health needs in the country therefore they should stay.

Dr. Nsiah-Asare’s plea follows concerns raised by the Ghana Medical Association that brain drain in the health sector is in full swing.

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“…as we speak, doctors, nurses are leaving this country in droves, brain drain has returned in full swing”, said Dr. Titus Beyuo, the General Secretary of the GMA.

Dr. Beyuo noted that he would not disclose figures to back his claim “but I can give you some examples, I will give you a unit in one hospital I won’t name, a big hospital in Accra, from January till now, five doctors have left that unit.”

He further stated that the country needs to deliberate to resolve the brain drain in the health sector.

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But Dr Nsia Asare while addressing nurses and other health professionals during the International Nurses Day, in Accra on Thursday May 12, said “I know many of our professional nurses continue to yearn for greener pastures beyond the shores of Ghana. I wish to take this opportunity to encourage all of you to stay like us” and help develop the health sector.

He also described as “unethical” the way that developed countries are taking away Ghana’s scarce health resources.

“Ghana, like other developing counties, is seeing an increase in migration of our professional nurses to high income countries like United States, United Kingdom… as a result of the global shortage of nurses, caused partly by the impact of the coronavirus.”

While describing this trend as quite worrying, Dr. Nsiah-Asare indicated that it would “worsen the nurse-patient ratio and for that matter our ability to accelerate our progress towards universal health coverage which is a top priority of this government.”

 

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