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09.11.2005 General News

Export of nurses can earn foreign exchange - Doc

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Tema, Nov.09, GNA - Dr Edward Narh, Medical Director of Narh-Bita a private hospital in Tema on Tuesday said the export of nurses and other health professionals could earn foreign exchange for the country when properly managed.

This he said, required the establishment of well-resourced institutions, by both the public and private sectors to train more high calibre of health professionals.

He made the suggestion when addressing the matriculation ceremony of 60 students of the Narh-Bita School of Nursing that now has 78 students since its establishment a year ago.

Dr Narh stressed on the need for the establishment of a National Recruitment Centre for the services of the health professionals outside the country that must have the requisite capacity to enter into contractual agreement with countries that required Ghanaian health professionals.

"With this arrangement we can obtain the necessary financial resources, to develop more institutions to train more health professional for both local and foreign consumption," He added.

The Executive Director said countries like India, Pakistan, Cuba, and the Philippines were already in the human resource business with very impressive benefits for both countries under the agreement.

Major Courage Quashigah (Rtd), Minister of Health in an address read on his behalf, said nursing was a profession that dealt with human beings therefore, it would be dangerous to promote mediocre training in order not to unleash undue suffering on patients.

He said in spite of the fact that the nation required more qualified health providers it would not tolerate or encourage private sector participation that would ignore the rules and regulations of the Midwives and Nurses Council to the detriment of the health of patients. The Minister said introduction of the National Health Insurance Scheme coupled with the inadequate personnel and other shortcomings required the participation of the private sector, but it would encourage only genuine serious investors who would respect rules of the profession. He asked the students not to take advantage of their being private students to leave the country after their training and urged authorities of the school to inculcate the spirit of patriotism in them to serve their nation.

Ms Joanna Laryea, Principal of the School, expressed gratitude to the various hospitals that had placed their facilities at the disposal of the school for practical training.

She said the school was waiting for the final accreditation while it had applied for affiliation with the University of Ghana, Legon for the award of diploma to the students after their two-year course. Mr Moses Asiam, a student appealed for the review of the age of entry pegged at 30 years because it prevented many interested people from entering the nursing profession.

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