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General News of Thursday, 24 July 2003

Source: GNA

Nurses to be exposed to experience abroad

Wa, July 24, GNA - The Ghana Health Service GHS was examining the possibility of working out a programme, under which medical professionals especially nurses, who had served for ten years would have exposure

outside the country to broaden their outlook and skills. The programme if worked out and implemented, would drastically reduce the high exodus of these health personnel to foreign countries in search of greener pastures.

Professor Agyemang Badu Akosa Director General of the Ghana Health Service made this known when he interacted with staff of the service at Wa on Thursday during a four-day working visit to the Upper West Region. He noted that if these personnel were assured they would have two years tint outside the country after serving the country for ten years, the clamour and hasty decisions to leave would not arise.

Professor Akosa announced that the GHS would organize a two-day forum in August this year, for all categories of health personnel to brainstorm on how to handle the human resources situation in the Service, which according to him had reached crisis level.

The forum is expected to come out with concrete proposals to increase training facilities to meet the staffing needs of the service. Some of the issues to be addressed at the forum, he said, included the need to increase the intake into health training institutions and make some of the students non-residential in order to create room for more classes.

He said it had also become necessary to call for a reduction in the member of years spent in medical school from seven to five years as pertaining in other countries in order to turn out more doctors. The Director General announced that the government had concluded arrangements for the purchase of 350 cars to beef up transportation within the Service.

Prof. Akosah warned nurses who were arrogant and impulsive towards patients to stop that attitude.

"Patients have rights and dignity just like you. We do not have adequate staff to man our facilities, but that does not mean we will continue to retain insolent nurses and workers."

The visit took him to Jirapa, Lawra, Nandom and Tumi where he met staff and assessed their working conditions.

He warned accounting and revenue staff in the health sector that there would be no compromise on malfeasance.

The sector is not a ground for making money and accounting and revenue personnel must therefore, know that they are a supporting staff if they want to make money in the Service, then they have to look elsewhere.

Accompanied by Dr. Erasmus Agongo the Regional Director of Health Services and Dr Edward Gyader, Medical Director of the Wa Hospital, the Director General inspected facilities at the Wa Hospital and assured the staff that it would soon be a fully fledged regional hospital.