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Health Professionals Still Leaving Ghana For Better Conditions Abroad

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The Deputy Minister of Health, Mr Kingsley Aboagye-Gyedu has revealed that despite government’s efforts to provide medical professionals with proper remuneration, an alarming number of them still abandon their duties to seek better opportunities overseas.

According to him, the massive brain-drain of health professionals to seek greener pastures, mainly in Europe, America and the Middle East, was a major concern to government and Ghanaians as a whole.

The minister made this disclosure at the induction of newly qualified Physician Assistants (P.A) and Certified Registered Anaesthetists (CRA), in Accra, last Friday.

“About 5000 doctors and 18,000 nurses have left the shores of this country since 1996. This is in addition to pharmacists, laboratory technologists and other health professionals,” he said.

Mr. Aboagye-Gyedu therefore cautioned the inductees not to follow the steps of those who have contributed to the brain-drain adding that, it cost so much to train a single medical professional.

According to him, “…it cost about GH¢50,000 to train a Physician Assistant or a Certified Registered Anaesthetist from Senior High School to their training institutions.”

Hence, he advised health professionals to place the interest of their benefactors, who were the Ghanaian tax payers, above their own and ensure that tax payers get value for their investments by receiving proper health care.

Demand for Proper Healthcare

The Registrar of the Ghana Medical and Dental Council (MDC), Dr Eli Kwasi Atikpui, urged the inductees to always refer to their code of conducts and responsibilities and ensure that they adhere to the tenets in order to deliver the care that patients deserve.

“Patients must be able to trust the P.A or CRA with their lives and health. To justify that trust, you must show respect for human life,” he said.

Meanwhile, a parent of one of the inductees poured out his sentiments over what he called “substandard services” and placed a demand on the professionals to effect a change.

“We are tired of substandard services in Ghana, we deserve better. We have travelled to some countries and seen how doctors and health workers treat patients, but when we come here, we regret,” he lamented and added that, “Let us place ourselves at a point where our president would not have to go outside to seek medical care.”

Induction

In all, 394 newly qualified P.A’s and CRA’s were inducted into the MDC to boost the equitable distribution of personnel in the health sector.

They were from College of Health and Wellbeing, Kintampo, Central University, Narh Bita College, Presbyterian University College, University of Health and Allied Sciences, University of Ghana, University of Development Studies (UDS) and the Schools of Anaesthesia of 37 Military, Ridge and Komfo Anokye Teaching hospitals.

By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com

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