The Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) has attributed the migration of health workers to the failure of successive governments to improve the conditions of the professionals.
According to the association, over 4,000 nurses have left Ghana for Europe between January and July 2023.
Speaking to Citi News, Perpetual Ofori Ampofo says nurses and health workers are not respected enough.
“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.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) disclosed in June that it is actively working to address the challenges posed by brain drain, which is significantly impacting the health sector.
Brain drain refers to the loss of human capital as professionals migrate from one region or industry to another.
In the case of Ghana, more than 1,200 Ghanaian nurses reportedly joined the United Kingdom’s nursing register last year, and approximately 150 experienced nurses and health professionals from Pantang Hospital have sought opportunities abroad.
Speaking at the 2023 Joseph Siaw Agyapong distinguished lecture on public health in Africa, held in commemoration of the University of Ghana’s 75th anniversary, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director General of the GHS, acknowledged brain drain as a major challenge.
“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.