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09.06.2004 General News

Improve Economy Or Else .... - Prof.

By Graphic
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The Chief Executive Officer of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, has called for stringent measures by government to turn the economy of the country round.

This, he said, would be the only way to halt the current exodus of health professionals to other countries.

According to him, it was the responsibility of the country's leaders to craft strategies that would help bring the economy out of its current situation.

Prof. Frimpong-Boateng made the call at the launch of the Nurses' Week celebration of the Greater Accra Regional branch of the Ghana Registered Nurses' Association in Accra yesterday.He observed that most health professionals and other professionals were leaving the shores of the country, because of the prevailing harsh economic conditions.

“Even in our dark hours, we should be able to craft measures to help ourselves”, he stated, adding that as a people, we should not forget the basic survival principles in life that would help us achieve economic success”.

He said the country had both the human and material resources that would help it turn things around to its benefit and comfort and called on all to come together to help build a prosperous nation that would be able to train and retain its professionals.

Prof. Frimpong-Boateng called for the development of information technology to help design basic tools and machines that could aid in development, saying that if Information Technology and Communication was not applied properly, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country would not exceed five per cent in years to come.

The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Sheikh I. C. Quaye, commended health professionals in the country and said the continuous exodus of personnel from the health sector to seek greener pastures posed a great challenge to the provision of quality health care in the country.

He appealed to the nurses to remain in the country to help achieve the quality health care that the people need. He said that the government was committed to improving the conditions of service of health professionals and would do so within available resources.

In another development, the World Health Assembly has charged member-states to use government-to-government agreements to set up health personnel exchange programmes to check the exodus of health personnel from their respective countries.

This was contained in a resolution passed by delegates at the end of three major international health meetings in Geneva, Switzerland.They were the Commonwealth Health Ministers meeting, the 57th World Assembly meeting and the World Health Organisation (WHO) 114th Executive Board meeting.

The Minister of Health, Dr Kwaku Afriyie, led a six-member Ghanaian delegation to the three meetings.

The issue of migration, which attracted the attention of the meetings, was raised by the Ghanaian delegation as part of the agenda for discussion.

The resolution called for the exploration of additional measures that might assist in developing fair practices in the international recruitment of health personnel. It also touched on issues such as reduction in maternal mortality, control of Buruli ulcer, road safety and health, disability prevention, health and nutrition and lifestyles.

Dr Kwaku Afriyie, who was the chairman of the executive board of the assembly, handed over the office to his colleague from Iceland. Dr Afriyie, however, remains a member of the board of the assembly.