The inability of successive administrations to improve the working conditions for the professionals has been blamed by the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) for the exodus of health professionals.
Between January and July 2023, approximately 4,000 nurses, according to the union, departed Ghana for Europe.
According to Perpetual Ofori Ampofo, nurses and other medical professionals are not recognized sufficiently.
“The truth of the matter is that our salaries in Ghana as nurses and midwives are not the best. But I also know that it is not only Ghana. Within the sub-region, within Africa as a whole, it is the same issue.
“So this issue about the movement of nurses from Ghana is actually not affecting only Ghana, go to Nigeria, go to Ivory Coast, go to other countries, they are leaving. They are leaving because the salaries and other conditions of service are not the best,” she stated.
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) revealed in June that it is aggressively tackling the problems caused by brain drain, which has a huge negative impact on the health sector.
The term “brain drain” describes the loss of human capital caused by specialists moving to different regions or industries.
More than 1,200 Ghanaian nurses allegedly entered the nursing register in the UK last year, while 150 experienced nurses and healthcare workers at Pantang Hospital have apparently looked for employment overseas.
Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director General of the GHS, identified brain drain as a significant concern when speaking at the 2023 Joseph Siaw Agyapong distinguished lecture on public health in Africa, which was hosted in honor of the University of Ghana’s 75th anniversary.
“Brain drain remains a key challenge for us and there are usually ways when there are shortages in the developed countries, there is also the drift of people going there. So what we are doing is first, trying to encourage as many to stay. We are also ensuring that those who are staying are also being trained rapidly.
“We are recruiting to replace those we can replace while we ensure that we are giving more people especially the nurses study leave allocations so that we can convert some of the non-professional nurses into professional ones because it is the majority of professional nurses who are leaving,” he stated.