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06.01.2006 Health

12,365 Health Officers Joined Exodus

By Times

A total of 12,365 Ghanaian health professionals have left for Western countries in search of greener pastures in the last 10 year.

Currently, there are as many as 1,200 Ghanaian physicians practising in the United Stated alone, leaving only 1,650 doctors behind to care for the 20 million populations.

Professor Yaw Adu-Gyamfi, immediate past President of the Ghana Medical Association, who gave these startling figures at the 57th Annual New Year School in Accra last Wednesday, said if nothing was done now, the situation would soon be too difficult to handle.

Prof. Adu-Gyamfi's statistics filled lecture, was on the topic: “Addressing the Brain Drain Syndrome in Ghana: Arresting the phenomenon in the Health sector.”

He said “Ghana is one of the 38 countries in Sub-Sahara Africa which do not meet the World Health Organisation recommended minimum requirement of 20 physicians per population of 100,000 or one physician to 5,000 people.

“The average doctor-population ratio in Ghana is about one doctor to 11,000 patients or 10 doctors to 11,000,” he said.