Ghanaian health professionals who have returned home after working outside the country are finding it extremely difficult to be absorbed by the Ministry of Health, despite the fact that many of the country's health institutions lack personnel.
Investigations conducted by the Times have revealed that some of these professionals, including doctors and nurses, have been virtually begging for years without success to be re-engaged by the Health Ministry. The Times investigations began when a letter addressed to the Editor revealed that “some returnee health professionals are going through hell for merely asking that they should be re-engaged.”
What was contained in the letter was corroborated by Dr. Yaw Antwi-Bosiako, Director of Human Resources of the Health Ministry. There are instances of returnee professionals who have been seeking re-instatement since three or four years ago without success,' he said, although he could not give exact figures.
Speaking to the Times in Accra yesterday, Dr. Antwi-Bosiako said “one of the reasons for this obvious anomaly is that there is no defined procedure for the re-engagement of health professionals, even at a time when their services are sorely needed.”
According to Dr Antwi-Bosiako, many health professionals who had left the country had found better conditions of service in their new places of abode, but some of those who had returned had several reasons to offer, including “disappointments and disaffection with their terms of contract.” “Those who have returned and are anxious to go back to their former places of work have met with huge frustrations,” he said. He said however, that the Ministry had now set up an office that would be responsible for processing applications from returnee health professionals exclusively. “This has become necessary in view of the frustrations that health professionals go through in their bid to secure re-engagement,” he explained.
Dr. Antwi-Bosiako said that with the measures being introduced, it was expected that re-entries would be processed “in a very short time – not more than two months.