The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has expressed worry about the uncontrolled exodus of Ghanaian nurses to work in the health sectors of other countries.
It has thus called on the government to urgently absorb the teeming unemployed nurses in the country.
Describing the situation as disturbing, the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regional Chairman of the GMA, Dr Alex Egotey, said it was disheartening that thousands of trained nurses “still remain in the house having no job to do.”
In an interview with the GNA in Sunyani, Dr Egotey explained that the provision of health services was teamwork among nurses, pharmacists, paramedics, doctors, and other professionals, saying without any of them access to healthcare would be compromised.
He emphasised that nursing care remained an essential component of health care service delivery, saying “the doctor cannot work without the nurse, so the nurse cannot work without the doctor.”
Dr Egotey said it was unfortunate and disheartening that many nurses had been in the house since 2019 without jobs, and appealed to the government to create jobs for them, saying if the situation is not addressed, it would have a negative impact on the nation as a whole.
“But, I do not blame the nurses who are travelling abroad because they also need to make a living. They must also do something to earn a decent living, so if there is an opportunity they must go”, he said.
The Regional Chairman also expressed worry about what he described as the “frustrating conditions” in the country’s health sector, saying “the condition is very disturbing that even if doctors get the opportunity they would also leave”.
That, notwithstanding, the GMA chairman said there were still many local communities nationwide, which require the services of nurses and other health professionals and called on the government to provide jobs to the unemployed nurses.
“In fact, these thousands of nurses cannot continue to stay in the home and overburden their parents. They also need to develop themselves and have a decent living. So, if we want the nurses to stay, then the government must give them jobs and improve the conditions of
service as well,” Dr. Egotey added.
He stressed that the association prioritises the provision of accessible and holistic healthcare services to the people, and had already engaged the government in finding lasting solutions to the “brain drain which has hit the health sector.”
Dr. Egotey, however, added, “we are also government employees and what we do is that we always alert and advise the government when we see the danger ahead.”