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31.03.2004 General News

Ghana to sponsor resolution on brain drain

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Kumasi, March 31, GNA - Ghana is to sponsor a resolution at the World Health Assembly on the issue of the brain drain threatening the health sector of developing nations. Dr Kwaku Afriyie, Minister of Health, who announced this said persistent poaching of doctors, nurses and other health professionals by the developed countries should now be made a moral issue. He was launching the Golden Jubilee Celebration of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) and a 10-billion cedi Endowment Fund for the Hospital in Kumasi.

The Minister noted that the problem with the exodus of health professionals for greener pastures was "not going to go away now, as we cannot simply match the kind of conditions of service they are offering". He called on the country's health workers to have a change of their value system, saying, they should not allow the desire for material things to get in the way of the "unique calling" to save lives.

Dr Afriyie assured them that the government was doing everything possible to address the problems facing them and give them some material comfort, pointing out that, they had already made some significant strides in that direction. He said apart from providing 450 vehicles to the health personnel, the government was also working on a scheme to help them to own houses. Besides, it had put career development and professional advancement high on the agenda.

Dr Afriyie praised the KATH Management for the administrative reforms and actions taken to enhance performance. He reminded the management that it had an enormous role to play in the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme and said the Hospital should get its standards right. Dr Kofi Asare, Ashanti Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service, said the service was working in close partnership with the KATH to decongest it.

Professor Dr George Wereko-Brobby, former Dean of the School of Medical Sciences (SMS), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), drew attention to the need to focus on quality assurance. He said the celebration should provide an opportunity for reflection, evaluation retrospection and introspection so that high standards could be maintained. Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare, Chief Executive, catalogued a number of activities being undertaken to make the facility to become a medical centre of excellence offering clinical and non-clinical services of the highest standards comparable to any international standards within five years.