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25.08.2004 Health

More Health Workers Vamoose From Ghana

By Ghanaian Chronicle
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Gloom looms over the Health Services of the country as over 1,227 nurses left the shores of Ghana for greener pastures last year alone.

A source at the Ghana Health Service disclosed that apart from the nurses, 166 doctors had also gone to seek better life out there.

According to the source, many of these professionals failed to return whenever they traveled abroad on holidays.

In an interview with The Chronicle yesterday, the source said the nurses saw the assurance given by the government that it was working out modalities for the disbursement of the Additional Duty Allowance as a means of merely "rapping" them.

Mr. Owusu Agyei, Chief Director of the Ministry of Health, on Monday signed a statement reassuring health professionals of government's commitment to improving their welfare.

The statement pointed to various incentive packages being put in place to enhance their welfare, which included a housing scheme to assist them to own houses and a car ownership scheme under which saloon cars would be purchased for distribution to them.

But the source maintained that if something more sustainable was not done to stem the tide of the exodus, most of the health facilities would be deserted without any professionals to manage them.

The source, therefore, called on the government to come out with more pragmatic and sustainable incentives that would motivate the workers.