The Ministry of Health says its decision to export nurses to Barbados will not have a negative impact on healthcare delivery in the country.
Plans are already underway to recruit 120 qualified nurses to the Caribbean country, following a pledge president Nana Akufo-Addo made to the Prime Minister of Barbados in June this year.
Many have questioned this move by the government as against the inadequate number of nurses and their many agitations for better conditions of service.
But in an interview with Citi News, Head of Public Relations for the Ministry of Health, Elorm Ametepe assured that the government will ensure that selected nurses are properly compensated.
“Originally they were looking at between 300 to 400 nurses. But later they requested to reduce it to 120. They will go through interviews and checks. We are also looking at experience between three to five years. Certainly, they are not going to be worse off. Once we take them out of this country to another environment, they will be catered for based on their levels.”
The cooperation is expected to create employment for some of the many teeming young graduate nurses in the country who have on several occasions staged protests demanding jobs from the government.
The government has already given indications that it is working to send Ghanaian nurses to countries such as Germany, Japan, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Gov't defends decision to send nurses to Barbados
Government defended the president's decision to send the Ghanaian nurses to work in Barbados.
Initially, it was agreed in principle to send 375 nurses to the Caribbean Island to work in their government's medical facilities.
But, Deputy Health Minister said it would be better to send those nurses abroad than absorb them in Ghana's Health service with attendant salary challenges.
“Every decision that is taken, is done within the context of a number of factors. Let us assume for the purpose of the argument that we have nurses to population ratio which is not adequate. We also have to take into consideration the fact that when they are absorbed, they should be paid, so you look at all these factors to see whether in the current circumstances, it will be more prudent to take that step to just unleash them into the work field and not be able to pay them,” he said.
Ghana, Barbados sign agreement to recruit 120 Ghanaian nurses
The Foreign Minister of Ghana and Barbados, on behalf of the Governments of their respective countries, on Friday signed an agreement for the recruitment of a total of 120 nurses from Ghana to complement the staffing needs of the island nation.
The agreement was signed at Jubilee House, when the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, paid a courtesy call on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, as part of her official visit to Ghana.
The objective of the agreement is to provide the framework for the provision of the nurses by Ghana to Barbados, taking cognizance of the existing commitment of Barbados to accepted international workforce policies and practices as well as the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Code of Ethics for nurses.
The scope of services and responsibilities include Ghana providing registered nurses to Barbados with a level of expertise as agreed to by both countries, with Barbados providing Ghanaian nurses safe and secure working conditions for professional practice, medical treatment where needed.
Remuneration is commensurate with the terms and conditions of Barbadian local registered Nurses. Barbados is also to provide professional support to Ghanaian nurses to comply with the guidelines and rules of the Nursing Council of Barbados.